WENY News - Cornell Expert Weighs in on Dog Flu Outbreak

Cornell Expert Weighs in on Dog Flu Outbreak

Posted: Updated:

ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Most of the U-S is facing the worst flu season in years, but humans aren't the only ones getting sick.

K-9 influenza--or dog flu--is also on the rise. 

"What we're suffering right now is direct introduction from Korea and Asia," says Professor Edward Dubovi, with Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. "[It's] being brought over from dogs being rescued from the meat markets, but they're bringing them into the United States without any quarantine. They're bringing the virus with them."

Experts at Cornell say this is at least the fourth time dog flu has made its way into the US over the past two years.  

Currently the strain affecting the K-9 population is the same one affecting humans--H3N2.

Although there has only been one outbreak in Upstate New York over the past decade, pet owners are being warned about how contagious it is.

"You take it to the doggy daycare, you take it to the groomer, you take it to the kennel or you pick one up from the shelter--those are the social situations where this virus is going to spread fairly rapidly," says Dubovi. "The isolated dog in the middle of nowhere is not going to get exposed and is not going to get infected."

The virus cannot be spread from dog to human and does not have a seasonal pattern. However symptoms are similar to those in humans. 

"A dog can't tell you it has a headache, so you look for change in behavior," says Dubovi. "They will have a modest fever and you start looking for the respiratory signs."

For example, a cough or runny nose.

There is a vaccine available, but experts can't say how effective it is because our area has not been hit as hard. But like the human shot, for some dogs, they say it's better to be vaccinated than not.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Frankly and WENY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.