Canine flu H3N8 is a new and highly contagious strain of the influenza virus which can cause respiratory illness in dogs, animal health officials said. Although, the illness only affects dogs and is harmless to humans no dog owner wants to see their “best friend” get sick.
The virus can spread through physical contact with an infected dog and someone or something that has touched a dog infected with the dog flu, such as clothing, shoes or hands. A dangerous and potentially deadly respiratory disease complex is affecting dogs in the local area, according to veterinarians. It is a specific Type A influenza virus that causes disease in dogs but not humans. The H3N8 influenza virus was originally a horse influenza virus. The virus spread to dogs and has adapted to cause disease in dogs and be easily transmitted between dogs. There is now what is believed to be a dog-specific H3N8 virus. Symptoms of the virus include, coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, rapid or difficult breathing, loss of appetite and lethargy.
Almost all dogs can be susceptible to infection with canine influenza viruses, and illness tends to spread among dogs housed in kennels and shelters. It is not known yet whether the H3N8 dog flu vaccine will offer protection against the H3N2 dog flu virus.
In the Chicago area cases of canine influenza has reached epidemic levels. Most dog flu cases have been seen in Illinois, where an estimated 1,000 dogs contracted a strain called H3N2, as USA Today reported. But, now the dog flu has also been found in Alabama, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana and a case was just found in Georgia.
Veterinarians are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease by asking pet owners to leave their dogs outside if they suspect the dog has symptoms of the influenza.
Inside dog kennels and veterinarian clinics it’s important to hand sanitize all areas which could be exposed to a virus. Besides taking this precaution, air purification can be an effective means to prevent the spread of airborne transmission. The Purealizer PR-UV01 is the ideal airborne disinfection system for veterinarians, dog shelters and kennels. Operating 24/7, the air purifier can disinfect 99% of pathogens and microorganisms in addition to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to protect uninfected dogs from transmission of the canine influenza. Infected dogs can transmit the airborne virus through sneezing or coughing up to 20 feet, the Purealizer PR-UV01 can offer important disinfection protection against transmission of the highly contagious canine flu.
Ask your pet boarding hotel and your veterinarian if they are providing a healthy environment for your favorite pet, and “man’s best friend”. firstname.lastname@example.org