Puppy poop infections now affecting 12 states

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a cute six week old French Bulldog puppy scratches an itch by his collar

MILWAUKEE, WI (WDJT) — The outbreak of illness associate with a puppy germ is making more people sick in more states. The CDC now confirming 55 cases in 12 states including Wisconsin. 13 people have had to go to the hospital.

Campylobacter infections linked to the puppies have now been reported between September 2016 and October 2017 in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, the CDC said. The bacteria causes people to develop diarrhea (sometimes bloody), cramping, abdominal pain and fever within two to five days of exposure to the organism.

Wisconsin was among the first states to get the alert about the bacteria called Campylobacater. Initially the thought was the transmission occurred in the open petting areas of Petland Stores. 14 workers of Petland are among those who became ill.

The Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals was the first local organization to sound the alarm. But even then the staff thought the source could go beyond stores.

Dr. Lindsey Foster told the CBS 58 News that she thought contamination could easily be occurring in dog parks where dogs go to the bathroom. The combination of not getting rid of the waste or washing hands enough making for a risky combination. In expanding the outbreak alert, the CDC included states where there are no Petland locations.

In at statement sent to CBS 58 News, Petland’s Public Affairs Director said she was pleased the CDC was expanding the investigation.

“Petland has been able to provide traceback for any puppy purchased as requested by the CDC,” Petland’s Elizabeth Kunzelman said. “However, more than 98% of people obtain their puppies from other sources, including shelters, rescues, friends, online and through local advertising.”