Several puppies brought to New Hampshire and Vermont from Puerto Rico are being tested for a bacterial infection after some of them became sick.
Health officials said one of the 10 puppies tested positive for leptospirosis, an infection that can spread from animals to humans and other pets. Five of the puppies have become sick.
Officials said some of the puppies had been taken Sunday to the outdoor patio at Ramunto’s Brick and Brew Pizzeria on 9 South St. in Hanover, where patrons were able to interact with them.
“Individuals or pets who may have come into contact with these puppies should speak to their health care providers and veterinarians about whether antibiotics may be needed to prevent leptospirosis infection,” said New Hampshire state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan.
Patrons at Ramunto’s who didn’t interact with the puppies aren’t at risk for infection, officials said. The disease usually spreads through direct contact with an infected animal’s urine. The bacteria enters a person’s body through the skin or mucous membranes, especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch, officials said.
Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is rare in the United States. Officials said infections often increase after flooding and natural disasters when humans and pets come in contact with contaminated soil and water.
Symptoms of the illness in humans typically include fever, flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal illness, officials said. A minority of people can develop severe symptoms that include liver failure, kidney failure and meningitis.
Antibiotics can treat and prevent infection, officials said.
Health officials said anyone who adopts a pet from another country or U.S. territory should take precautions, including having them undergo veterinary inspections and quarantining them.
Puppies from Puerto Rico may have spread infection at Hanover pizzeria, officials warn
Puppy tests positive for leptospirosis; others show symptoms