The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is probing a multistate outbreak of infections tied to contact with puppies from a national pet store chain, according to CNN.
The CDC on Monday said it is investigating cases of Campylobacteriosis, which is a common bacterial infection that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever.
CNN on Tuesday reported that as of the day before 39 people have fallen ill across seven states, including 18 cases in Ohio.
Eleven more incidents were reported in Florida, followed by five in Kansas, two in Pennsylvania, one in Missouri, one in Tennessee and one in Wisconsin.
The first case associated with this outbreak, according to CNN, happened on September 15, 2016.
The CDC noted that wherever a puppy originates from, it can carry a campylobacter infection that can be passed on to humans.
CNN reported that 27 of the victims had either recently purchased a puppy at a Petland location, visited one of its stores or visited or lived in a home with a puppy sold at Petland.
Twenty-eight of 39 people who have been sickened in the outbreak are female, and 12 are Petland employees.
The CDC said that Petland is cooperating with its probe, which it added is being conducted in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service.
“The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland’s operating system that would lead to any campylobacter infection,” company spokeswoman Elizabeth Kunzelman told CNN in an email.
“Last week the CDC advised Petland to ‘continue to do what we are already doing’ and to continue to educate customers and staff to sanitize their hands after handling our puppies,” she added.
“Our extensive health warranty protects both our pets and our customers from bacterial, viral and congenital issues.”
CNN reported that Campylobacteriosis symptoms usually start within two to five days of contact with the bacteria and can last roughly a week.
Campylobacteriosis occurs much more frequently in the summer than the winter, according to the CDC, and is estimated to affect more than 1.3 million people annually.