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Stunning report: Massive US disease outbreak in dogs

Stunning report: Massive US disease outbreak in dogs

Owners attending the upcoming dog events at the Georgia National Fairgrounds claim that they are not anxious about the flu, even if it is at these events where the virus can spread more efficiently.

Officials are warning about the dog flu after five confirmed cases in Georgia.

While this flu does not affect humans, it is passed on similarly to the human strain, through direct contact, coughing, sneezing and dissimilarly to humans, barking.

The Texas A&M lab confirmed the strain of influenza as H3N2, the same one identified in a recent outbreak in Florida and Georgia.

Dog flu has surfaced in SC, and the Charleston Animal Society is urging dog owners to watch for any signs of flu in their pets.

If an infected dog coughs or sneezes on a human being, the infection can survive on the human skin for two minutes, whereas it can survive for well over a day on clothing, from where it can infect a healthy dog.




Experts say in most cases, vaccines are considered the best protection from the canine flu. Dogs diagnosed with the flu should be kept isolated from other dogs for four weeks, according to the University of Florida.

"Virtually all dogs exposed become infected with the virus", the report said. You're just advised to be aware of the signs of sickness.

If your dog has symptoms, including a cough, lack of appetite or lethargy, visit your vet and keep the dog away from other animals.

This is a canine influenza strain new to Florida, and is a highly contagious virus. The key symptom to look for, he said, is fever. This is because most of the dogs in the country are not vaccinated against flu.

"We do like to participate in group dog events where dogs mingle so rather than have a chance on exposing her to something hazardous we figured the vaccinations are good for her and us", said Todd. These can last up to two weeks or even longer.

"It's diffidently a more serious strain than what we've seen", said Dr. Courtney Pierce, with the Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt. Dogs displaying more severe symptoms can receive medication to treat the condition.

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