DOVER (WJER) - Tuscarawas County Health Department officials are telling residents how they can protect themselves against a bacteria linked to pet-store puppies amid a multi-state illness outbreak.
Nursing Director Amy Kaser says a multi-drug-resistant strain of campylobacter has infected 30 people this year across Ohio and 12 other states. It hasn't been reported so far in Tuscarawas County, but Kaser says they’re warning people just in case.
"As of right now, we’ve had seven confirmed cases of campylobacter in Tuscarawas County for 2019. However, zero of those have been linked to this multi-state outbreak, but we just wanted to get the information out to the public to kind of go over some of the symptoms and some of the symptoms that your puppy might be having and some tips on if your puppy does have campylobacter or some diarrhea on some ways to kind of protect yourself," Kaser says.
Kaser says the infection causes unpleasant flu-like symptoms that last around a week. She says it can't be cured with antibiotics, but there are some precautions people can take so they don't get sick, such as practicing good hygiene and cleaning up their pet’s waste.
"If your dog is infected, good hygiene is good, making sure you’re cleaning up the feces from your yard, cleaning any soiled areas in your house, laundering the dog’s bedding frequently, washing your hands. Those kinds of things would also help," Kaser says.
Most people who become infected recover without treatment, but Kaser says they should still report the illness so the CDC can find the source of the outbreak.