30 People Sick, Including Kentuckians After Pet Store Bacteria Exposure

NATIONWIDE— 30 people are now sick with after coming into contact with puppies, three of which are here in Kentucky.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now reporting cases in 13 different states of a bacterial infection linked to pet stores. Those states include Ohio, Tennessee, and Illinois.

Four people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. 24 people sick with the Campylobacter jejuni bacteria talked to the CDC and this is the information that was found:

  • 21 of the 24 people reported contact with a puppy
  • 15 of these 21 people reported contact with a puppy from a pet store
  • 12 of these 15 people were linked to Petland, a national pet store chain
  • 5 of these 12 people were Petland employees

The CDC said this strain of bacteria can be traced back to outbreaks in previous years, specifically to pet store puppies; that’s because puppies and dogs can carry Campylobacter germs that can make people sick, even while appearing healthy and clean.

Common symptoms for Campylobacter jejuni usually show up two to five days after exposure and include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. This kind of bacteria is drug resistant to antibiotics. 

The CDC also said it’s important for new pet owners, pet store employees and those shopping for dogs or puppies to always wash their hands after coming into contact with the animal. For more preventative information you can head to the CDC’s website