BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Authorities are investigating investigating a multistate outbreak of human Campylobacter infections linked to puppies sold through the national pet store chain Petland.

As of October 3, a total of 55 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection have been linked to the outbreak. They live in 12 states — Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Fourteen of those are Petland employees, 35 either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland and one person had sexual contact with a person with a confirmed illness linked to Petland.

Four others were exposed to puppies from various sources, and one had “unknown puppy exposure,” according to a release from the
Centers for Disease Control.

Those who are sick range in age from less than one year old to 86 years old.

Petland is cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address the outbreak.

Clinical samples from the people and puppies involved appear to be resistant to commonly recommended, first-line antibiotics. This means infections with the outbreak strain may not respond well to oral antibiotics usually prescribed to treat Campylobacter infections.

According to the CDC, symptoms of Campylobacter include diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Illness typically lasts one week.

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