The U.S. Center for Disease Control announced on Monday it was carrying out an investigation into an outbreak across multiple states of campylobacter infections that are linked to puppies sold by national pet store chain Petland.
Campylobacteriosis is a common bacterial infection that has symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever, said the CDC.
As of Monday, 39 people had fallen ill across seven states that included one case each in Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee, two in Pennsylvania, five in Kansas, 11 in Florida and 18 in Ohio.
Nine people have had to be hospitalized but to date no deaths have been reported. The first case reported in the outbreak was from September of 2016.
Symptoms, which can typically start with two and five days following contact with the bacteria, will usually last a week, although with some people have no signs of the illness.
While many of the cases do not go reported, about 14 out of every 100,000 people each year are diagnosed in the U.S., showed statistics released by the CDC.
Overall, the bacterium, which occurs most often during the summer as compared to winter, is estimated to affect more than 1.3 million people annually.
Nearly every patient is able to recover in approximately five days without needing treatment, though consuming additional fluids is one thing doctor’s recommend. In some rare cases, the infection can cause complications such as paralysis and death.
Those who have a weakened immune system, such as the elderly, infants or those with cancer or other types of severe illnesses have the most risk of a serious infection.
People who are sickened with the current outbreak are between the ages of last than 1 and 64.
The majority, or 28 of 39, is female, while 12 are employees of Petland. Of the 39, 27 either purchased a puppy recently from Petland, visited Petland or the home of a person with a puppy purchased at Petland.
No failures in the operating systems at Petland have been discovered by the CDC that would lead to an infection, said a company spokesperson.
The CDC has said that no matter where a puppy has come from, it might carry the infection. Petland has cooperated with the CDC investigation said the government agency.
Petland has a number of sanitation stations within each of its stores and had sanitation procedures that are very strict for kennels and protocol in place from consulting veterinarians.