Drugged puppies blamed for spreading diarrhea superbugs in multi-state outbreak

Drugged puppies blamed for spreading diarrhea superbugs in multi-state outbreak

This week, the Centers for control and prevention of diseases of the US has dedicated a new weekly Report on morbidity and mortality cases of infection through contact with the feces of the puppies.

After the patients were interviewed, a common thread was identified when 99 percent of them reported direct contact with a pet store puppy, which may have spread the bacteria. But by the end of the investigation, five other unnamed companies were also apparently tied to the outbreak, according to the CDC's latest findings, which were published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. States reporting illness were Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

By digging through roughly 150 puppies' medical records, investigators discovered that these pups had been treated with antibiotics at least once, and over half of them had been treated preventatively when they weren't even sick.

"Implementation of antibiotic stewardship principles and practices in the commercial dog industry is needed", they concluded bluntly.

Campylobacteriosis is suspected to be caused by dogs who have built up a resistance to antibiotics.

The infection can lead to symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. No deaths occurred, but at least 26 people were hospitalized. But in most cases, recovery takes less than a week without any specific treatment besides rest and rehydration.

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According to the CDC, antibiotics are only needed for patients who are very ill or at high risk for severe disease, such as people with severely weakened immune systems, people with the blood disorders thalassemia and hypogammaglobulinemia, AIDS, or people receiving chemotherapy.

As noted by CNN, the CDC had earlier revealed that the national pet store chain Petland was a source of a drug-resistant outbreak of Campylobacter. And if the pet industry doesn't change its puppy-peddling ways, these outbreaks could continue. Wellington said. "These are lifesaving medicines that should only be used to treat sick animals or sick people".

Precautionary measures for both human and animal wellness include washing your hands frequently after interacting with animals, as the disease can be transmitted through fecal matter, and seeking veterinary care for an animal that may seem sick.

Because animals are living creatures, disease will arise on occasion, he said.

"Pet ownership is a tremendously positive thing in people's lives", Bober said.

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