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Pet store puppies are making Minnesotans sick

A national outbreak is hitting Minnesota, where most of the cases have been reported.

A handful of people in Minnesota have been stricken with a stomach infection that has been linked to contact with pet store puppies.

The Centers for Disease Control says that 30 people across 12 states have contracted the Campylobacter germ, with Minnesota having the highest number of cases with six.

Of those who contracted the germ, 88 percent reported contact with a puppy, with 71 percent reporting contact with a puppy from a pet store.

The campylobacter germ is usually contracted when you eat raw or undercooked poultry, or eat something that touched it. 

Symptoms include diarrhea, often bloody, as well as fever and stomach cramps that last 2-5 days.

What's more, the strain of campylobacter contracted in these instances are resistant to antibiotics, though most people usually recover without antibiotics within a week.

The CDC says the strain of campylobacter bacteria causing the infections is closely related genetically to bacteria from those sickened in an outbreak of infections between 2016-18, which were also linked to pet store puppies.

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Pet owners are advised to wash their hands thoroughly after touching their puppies or dogs, after handling their food, and after cleaning up their poop, pee and vomit.

They also suggest not letting dogs lick around your mouth and face, or open wounds or areas with broken skin – which as anyone with a dog should know, is quite a tough request.

You should also eat and drink away from places where your pets are kept, and keep your food separate from pet food and treats.

Pet store workers are also being advised to take similar safety precautions to prevent infection.

You can read more about the CDC alert here.

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