That's one of the suggestions that public health officials offer as they track an outbreak of multidrug-resistant human Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to contact with puppies from pet stores, including Petland.
Puppies in pet stores appear to have transmitted a risky, antibiotic-resistant germ that's sickened 30 people across 13 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.
The CDC says bacteria from the people who have gotten sick are resistant to commonly recommended antibiotics.
Four people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported. The CDC also reported that a majority of those infected individuals had visited the national pet store chain named Petland.
While Rhode Island has no confirmed cases at this time, Rhode Island State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall warned that people who come in contact with all animals - not just puppies - should take "common sense" measures. The bacteria in question, Campylobacter jejuni, has already infected 30 people across 13 states.
"By no means should people not interact with animals - just do what your mom told you and wash your hands", said Marshall. Of the 12 people linked to Petland, 5 are employees.
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Petting puppies at the pet store could make you sick as a dog, according to a new warning from health officials.
21 (88%) of the 24 people reported contact with a puppy.
Cases of the infection have been reported in Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada, according to the CDC. The symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever and usually last for about a week. Those infected range in age from 8 months to 70 years.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching your puppy or dog, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.
While people with Campylobacter infections typically recover on their own, some need antibiotic treatment.