What You Need to Know About the H3N2 Canine Flu
DOG FLU ALERT! A highly dangerous and contagious strain of dog flu that first appeared in Chicago in April has now reached into other parts of the country. That month, over 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area contracted the illness, and eight ultimately died from it. It then began appearing in other parts of the Midwest region in a slow march of expansion.
In recent months, cases have been reported in Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The Canine Flu Virus, H3N2, made headlines when it first appeared because of its particularly virulent effects.
As of this writing the dogs in the other states were still being tested, and it has not yet been confirmed whether it is the same H3N2 strain of flu that rampaged through the Midwest.
Most of us have experienced the flu ourselves, and lived through it. Just like any type of virus, it spreads easily through airborne and direct contact and carries risks to those with weaker immune systems. But also like with any other virus, using proper care and precautions can prevent its spread and lead to full recovery.
Just like humans, certain categories of dogs are more vulnerable to the flu than others. Young puppies, older dogs and dogs who already suffer from other internal health problems are especially susceptible to the flu. If a flu virus is spreading in your community, keep them away from other dogs. And if your dog appears sick, make a trip to the vet as soon as you can!
Although humans cannot catch the dog flu, we can act as carriers and it’s possible to infect another dog. If you’ve been around a dog you suspect is ill, whether it’s your own or another, wash your hands after petting it. It’s just common sense anyway.
Source: USA Today