The CDC has posted an update on the outbreak of Campylobacter infections in the US linked to puppies from Petland, a pet store chain.

Here are the highlights:

  • The case count is now up to 67, in 15 states (see map and graph of case occurrence below). The true number of infected people is unknown, since it’s reasonable to assume most infections are not diagnosed and reported.
  • Cases are still being identified, with 12 more since the October 3rd report.
  • 17/62 (27%) confirmed cases were hospitalized. That’s a pretty high hospitalization rate.
  • 18 affected people worked at Petland, 44 recently purchased a puppy from Petland, visited a Petland store or visited a home where a Petland puppy was present.

A big concern has been the fact that the Campylobacter isolates involved tend to be resistant to recommended first line antibiotics. Isolates from 13 people and 8 puppies have been tested and were resistant to azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, erythromycin, naladixic acid, telithromycin and tetracycline. That makes infections harder to treat.

As always, a key to controlling this outbreak is good common sense and basic hygiene, especially handwashing after handling puppies or having contact with feces.