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Canine Influenza Spreading in Midwest USA

17 April 2015

US - Canine influenza virus has infected at least a thousand dogs in the US Midwest, including the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

Recent research from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin showed that the flu outbreak is caused by a different strain of the virus than previously thought.

Originally, the outbreak was attributed to the H3N8 virus, which has been present in the US since 2004, but the researchers identified the strain as H3N2.

"It's believed that the H3N2 strain was introduced here from Asia, but how it happened is not known," said Keith Poulsen, clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

"The commercially available vaccines for Canine Influenza Virus are made to protect against the H3N8 strain, and their effectiveness against the H3N2 strain is unknown at this time, but it is likely to be less effective."

The outbreak caused by the new strain was first seen in Chicago in 2015, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It is spread when dogs come into close contact with one another, such as when using kennels or shelters.

The disease has similar symptoms to flu in humans, such as a runny nose and fever.

The outbreak is not related to the current outbreak of avian influenza in the US, and there is no evidence that it can spread to humans.

ThePetSite News Desk

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