The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dozens of people have been.
The outbreak of Campylobacter has affected 55 people in 12 states. Thirteen people have been hospitalized. This is an increase from the 39 cases reported in seven states last month.
can be spread by contact with dog feces.
“If you don’t wash your hands afterwards, innocently touching your mouth or touching something that comes in contact with your mouth, you’re able to get it,” Dr. Brian Lamb, from West Penn Medical Associates, told CBS Pittsburgh.
He says Campylobacter infections are not uncommon, and that many people have no symptoms at all.
However, there are certain symptoms people should watch for.
“Diarrhea is going to be the number one symptom, as well as abdominal pain and cramping,” Lamb said. “Usually about two to five days after you’ve been exposed to it.”
Dr. Kristen Mertz, a medical epidemiologist for the Allegheny County Health Department in Pennsylvania, where two cases have been reported, said in a written statement: “This is not something new in our region. We see frequent cases of Campylobacter associated with.”
Dr. Lamb says prevention is key.
“It comes down to simple hand washing,” he said. “Especially for yourself and then for your children. Children are more susceptible to this just because they’re smaller, and they have an immune system which may not be as advanced as an adult.”
In an emailed statement, Elizabeth Kunzelman, the director of public affairs at Petland, said: “CDC has not provided us any details as to which stores were linked. There are no additional steps required at this point because the CDC have not identified any failures of Petland’s operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter infection.”
The CDC says says the pet store chain is cooperating with health officials to address the outbreak.
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