CDC Investigation Notice – Outbreak of Multidrug – Resistant Campylobacter Infections Linked to Pet Store P

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation announcement of a multistate outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores has been posted:

Key points:

  • CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections that has sickened 30 people in 13 states.
  • Four people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Interviews with ill people and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with puppies, especially those from pet stores, is the source of this outbreak.
  • This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.
  • A single, common supplier of puppies has not been identified.
  • Puppies and dogs can carry Campylobacter germs that can make people sick, even while appearing healthy and clean. People who own, work with, or come in contact with puppies or dogs should take steps to stay healthy.

Advice to pet owners:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching your puppy or dog, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.
  • Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Pick up and dispose of dog poop, especially in areas where children might play.
  • Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness in your puppy or dog.
  • Within a few days after getting a new puppy or dog, take it to a veterinarian for a health check-up.

Advice to pet store workers:

  • Ask store management for training about handwashing, clean-up procedures, and other illness prevention measures.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water every time you handle dogs or anything in the area where they live and roam, including their food, treats, or food and water containers.
  • Follow store protocols for identifying and reporting sick or injured animals.
  • Report any illness, especially diarrhea or vomiting, to your employer.
  • Practice responsible use of antibiotics in pet stores.

About Campylobacter:

  • Campylobacter bacteria can spread to people through contact with poop of infected animals and contaminated food or water.
  • People with a Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (that can be bloody), fever, and stomach cramps.
  • These symptoms usually start within 2–5 days after exposure and last about a week.
  • Most people recover without antibiotic treatment.
  • More information can be found at

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: December 18, 2019