Bacteria Carried By Your Pet Dog Can Make You Sick

,A bacteria called campylobacter, is a multidrug-resistant infection linked to puppies purchased from pet stores. So far, this bacteria has sickened 30 people in 13 States, according to the most recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends that dog pet owners, especially senior citizens, wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling their pet dogs.

 

Campylobacter, causes more than 1.5 million illnesses in the United States each year. It’s  found in animal feces and can spread to humans who come in contact with poop from infected animals. his bacteria is also found in foods such as raw or undercooked poultry, contaminated produce, and water.

 

Symptoms of a campylobacter infection are diarrhea, and fever and stomach cramps that start within two to five days after exposure. These symptoms last about a week, and most people recover without medication. However, in people with weak immune systems, such as senior citizens, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat severe infections.

 

However, this bacteria is a stubborn strain and not all antibiotics will work. In some cases, it’s necessary to just let the infection to run it’s course. This could take several weeks.

 

Bacteria: Antibiotic Resistance A Growing Problem

Earlier this year the CDC released a report warning the public about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Germs that are antibiotic resistant, kill at least 35,000 people in the United States each year. They also cause more than 2.8 million infections.

 

Pets can carry germs, including drug-resistant ones, that make humans sick even when they appear healthy, says the CDC. The best thing you can do, is to always wash your hands after handling your pet dog. This includes handling their food, touching their toys and cleaning up their waste. Health experts also advise against allowing your pets to lick you around the face and mouth, so as to prevent the spread of bacteria.

 

In addition, food-safety practices are important. Clean surface areas, separate raw meat from other foods, and put leftover food back into your refrigerator. This assures that it won’t spoil.

 

Finally, if you notice a sign of illness in your dog, immediately contact your veterinarian. New owners should schedule a health checkup for their new pet within a few days of purchasing or adopting them.

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