LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — At least three people in the Las Vegas Valley have contracted an infection linked to pet store puppies. The cases are related to an outbreak where a reported 30 people were infected with a multidrug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni strain.
“The Southern Nevada Health District has reports of three cases of campylobacter related to this outbreak,” said the district. “All three individuals have reported coming into contact with puppies and have purchased their pets from different locations, including one from out of state.”
The outbreak was reported in 13 states, with four hospitalizations reported. There have been no deaths.
A few quick facts about the infection include:
- Symptoms include diarrhea (often bloody), fever and stomach cramps two to five days after exposure
- Usually lasts for about a week without antibiotic treatment
- Antibiotics are needed only for patients who are very ill or at high risk for severe disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said epidemiologic and laboratory evidence revealed contact with puppies, especially those purchased at pet stores, was the likely source of the outbreak. In a report, the CDC also said the bacteria in this outbreak was “closely related genetically” to a 2016-18 outbreak of the same drug-resistant infection linked to pet store puppies.
Twenty-four of those infected were interviewed, and the interviews revealed:
- 21 or 88% of the 24 reported contact with a puppy
- 15 or 71% of those 21 reported contact with a puppy from a pet store
- 12 or 80% of those 15 were linked to Petland
- 5 or 42% of those 12 were Petland employees
CDC advice for pet owners includes:
- Always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after touching puppies or dogs, handling their food and cleaning up after them
- Take a new puppy or dog to the veterinarian for a check-up within a few days of getting them
CDC advice for pet store workers includes:
- Ask store management for training about handwashing, clean-up procedures and other illness prevention measures
- Wash hands with soap and water after handling puppies or dogs
- Eat and store food safely
- Clean up messes safely
- Follow store protocol for identifying and reporting sick or injured animals
- Let employers know if you or other employees become ill, especially with diarrhea or vomiting
- Practice responsible use of antibiotics in pet stores
For more information, please visit the CDC’s website.