The Centers for Disease Control(CDC) has released a report that should make people think twice before petting puppies after a multi-state outbreak of Campylobacter. The eye opening headline of this report is that this strain causing the outbreak had developed a resistance to multiple drugs frequently prescribed to treat Campylobacter. The outbreak sickened 118 people across 18 states causing 26 hospitalizations. People with compromised immune systems are most at risk however no deaths were reported.
The report cites dogs with an emphasis on puppies as transmitters of the illness. While puppies have been known for some time to be able to transfer this disease to humans, they rarely lead to outbreaks of this size prompting the investigation.
Authorities have raised questions about the entire industry’s frequent use of preventative antibiotics and if such practices contributed to the rise of this antibiotic resistant strain. Puppies are often given antibiotics preemptively to prevent sickness rather than in response to illness.
The outbreak also led investigators to remind sellers and handlers of puppies to be vigilant about hygiene. The CDC recommends taking measures to ensure that existing biosecurity measures are sufficient to reduce ongoing risk. In addition to frequent hand washing, facilities should thoroughly clean areas exposed to fecal matter which transmits the disease. Transmission from person to person is rare but does occur.
The CDC and ICT Recommend:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their poop, or their food
- Pick up and dispose of dog poop, especially in areas where children might play.
- Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness.
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Puppies Spread Antibiotic-Resistant Infections to 118 people, CDC reports
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