CHILLICOTHE, Ohio, Dec. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Petland learned today that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be releasing an update tomorrow in regards to human cases of Campylobacter infections reported between January and November of 2019.
The investigation linked this outbreak to contact with pet store puppies and other sources, according to the CDC. Of 30 confirmed cases, only 12 people reported any contact with a Petland puppy, and five of those were Petland employees. More than one third of the cases have been found in people in 13 states where there are no Petland stores—including Utah, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Maryland.
Petland takes the health and welfare of our employees, our customers and our pets very seriously. Since an earlier outbreak in 2016, in which no specific source of infection was identified, Petland has implemented all recommended protocols from federal and state animal and public health officials to prevent human and puppy illness, including: mandatory sanitary training for all employees, signage displayed prominently throughout the stores, multiple available sanitation stations, customer brochures describing common puppy diseases and recommendations to keep people and pets healthy, changing animal husbandry and sanitation practices to prevent transmission of Campylobacter among puppies and between puppies and people, implementing infection prevention and education protocols to help reduce illnesses among Petland employees and customers, and requesting its veterinarians implement judicious use of antimicrobial agents in puppies at Petland locations to reduce selective pressure for multidrug resistant strains of Campylobacter.
The CDC did not have any direct recommendations today regarding steps to keep puppies from exposure to this bacteria and recommended that Petland seek assistance from animal health officials. Therefore, Petland urges state and federal animal health officials and veterinary experts to determine protocols aimed at finding the source of infection, establishing a case definition for puppies, and recommending valid testing procedures and treatment options for puppies that test positive, including those that are asymptomatic.
Similar to the 2016 outbreak, the specific Campylobacter strain is not originating at any specific Petland store. Upon receipt of relevant information, Petland will endeavor to determine the sources of infection, and will, in the meantime, remind all employees of the importance of sanitation and hygienic practices to keep people and pets safe.
For perspective, more than 12 million guests visit our stores annually and during this specific time period, Petland estimates more than 2.4 million customer socializations of Petland puppies.
As with the risk of salmonella exposure to people from reptiles and chickens, we stress the importance of proper hand sanitizing when handling pets, pet food and treats, pet or waste, pet chickens and raw poultry. It is also important not to let any dog lick your mouth or any open wounds.
We encourage everyone to take universal sanitary precautions to prevent this or any other disease pets may transmit to their owners. Petland takes additional measures to ensure that the puppies it sells are healthy, and provides health warranties offered by our stores that typically provide for veterinary treatment for various bacterial, viral and congenital issues, if they arise.
For information about the course of the illness in people, please visit the CDC website.
Director of Public Affairs