Health officials in Ohio are working with the CDC to investigate a viral, multi-state outbreak traced to the Ohio-based Petland store chain.
Ohio had the highest rate of the Campylobacter infection with 18 people affected.
Sietske de Fijter, the state epidemiologist, says that while most cases are associated with eating raw or undercooked meat, the bacteria can also be transmitted by dogs.
“Trends sometimes emerge and one of the trends that emerged from this investigation of this outbreak is that people had exposure to puppies at Petland stores,” Defighter says.
Petland has about 80 stores nationwide; at least 39 people have been sickened by the bacteria. Twelve of those cases are Petland employees, NPR reports, and the other 27 visited a store, recently purchased a puppy there or visited or live in a home with a puppy.