Tags: canine | flue | outbreak | two variants

Canine Flu Outbreak Worsens, Now Spreading in Two Variants

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By    |   Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:52 PM

A canine flu outbreak is blanketing the U.S. and appears to be worsening, with reports flooding in from more than three dozen states.

Newsweek reported cases of the highly contagious virus among dogs popping up in Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania and even Canada.

Dr. Kyle Frandle at the Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital in California told the San Jose Mercury News that there were two variants of the canine virus – H3N8 and N3N2v – which have been diagnosed in more than 36 states.

“Experts feel dog flu is now endemic in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and now here in California,” he said.

USA Today reported that, according to a surveillance map compiled by Cornell University, there have been over 200 reports of canine influenza in Illinois, Georgia and Kentucky since March of 2015; however, those numbers reflect only part of the spread as many cases go undiagnosed.

Pet owners need to be vigilant when it comes to monitoring the symptoms of this potentially dangerous viral infection.

According to Michigan State University Veterinarian Thomas Mullaney, the most common symptoms include lack of appetite, lethargy, cough and fever, CBS News reported.

It is a highly contagious infection that can be spread through coughing, sneezing and even barking if pets are in close proximity of an infected animal, with transmission commonly occurring at kennels, groomers and dog shelters.

The morbidity rate (catching it) is estimated at 80 percent while the mortality rate is less than 10 percent, with deaths occurring mainly in dogs with the severe form of disease, KSAT reported.

The good news is there is a vaccine available that offers protection against both strains of the virus and can reduce a dog’s risk of contracting canine influenza, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation said.

Dog owners should first speak to their veterinarian to determine the dog’s risk of exposure and to establish whether a vaccination would be appropriate.

Pet owners whose dogs are already sick, exposed or exhibiting symptoms are urged to keep their animal isolated for about four weeks.

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A canine flu outbreak is blanketing the U.S. and appears to be worsening, with reports flooding in from more than three dozen states.
canine, flue, outbreak, two variants
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:52 PM
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