Canada First 2 cases of canine influenza confirmed in Canada

20:56  08 january  2018
20:56  08 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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H3N 2 Influenza in dogs was first reported in Korea in 2007, originating in birds. Recently, an outbreak originating at dog shows led to cases being confirmed in Georgia and Florida. The course of infection of most canine influenzas is generally two to three weeks.

Officials say the two dogs infected were imported from South Korea, through the U.S.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Officials say the two dogs infected were imported from South Korea, through the U.S.

A highly infectious dog flu that has spread rapidly across Asia and parts of the U.S. has made its way into Canada.

Two dogs in Essex County, Ontario, have H3N2 canine influenza, according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and two others are showing symptoms though the infection has not been confirmed in those canines.

Officials said the dogs were imported from South Korea, through the U.S. and were showing signs of respiratory disease the day after they arrived when they were examined by a veterinarian.

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When canine influenza first strikes a given population, a large percentage of dogs will become infected in a wave like pattern with up to 20% of the population showing no signs of disease. In a few cases of confirmed canine influenza , severely ill animals have been treated in intensive care units

CIV cases have been confirmed in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. “This is the first time this H3N 2 strain of Canine Influenza Virus has been found in North America, so there’s a lot we don’t yet know about it,” said Edward Dubovi, Ph.D., Professor of Virology and Director, Virology Laboratory, Animal

A small number of other dogs that had close contact with the affected canines also have mild respiratory disease, said WECHU, but test results from those animals are not yet available.

"In general, we know this is a flu that has been around in Asia for quite a while and has moved into the U.S. a few years ago," said Scott Weese, a professor and infectious disease specialist at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. "It's been causing problems in the U.S. for a few years and we haven't seen it in Canada until this recent incident."

No human risk

The health unit said there is no known human risk, but officials are worried that a dog infected with H3N2 could also contract a human flu, and those strands could combine to create a new virus.

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Confirmed case of dog flu in Tallahassee. "Dog flu" may have originated at two dog shows. The UF College of Veterinary Medicine first reported a handful of canine influenza cases in late May.

Canine Influenza Cases Diagnosed in NC by Claire Holley on 6/21/2017. In the U.S., canine influenza has been caused by two influenza strains. The first strain reported in the Since March 2015, thousands of dogs have been confirmed positive for H3N 2 canine influenza across the U.S.

"It's pretty unlikely to happen, but that's the main public health concern," said Weese.

Distinguishing the canine flu is difficult in dogs, said Weese, because the symptoms are similar to other respiratory infections like kennel cough.

"It's a flu-like illness. It gives them fever, they feel pretty run down, they get a cough which is often the most remarkable sign. In most dogs that's it. It runs its course," said Weese.

But like the flu, it could cause complications for older dogs, or those canines with existing health problems.

What to do

Weese said that if you suspect your dog has influenza, to call the vet first.

"If the vet knows, they can handle the dog with some precautions," said Weese. "What we don't want to see is the dog that has the flu transmit it to other dogs."

He said the reason for alerting the public now is to make sure the influenza stays contained, and does not spread to other dogs.

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The first case of the canine influenza —a highly contagious disease that can be fatal—has been confirmed in the Brainerd lakes area. Testing for canine influenza came back positive for a dog named Bella, believed to be a 2 -year-old Landseer

Analysis of reports show the first wave of cases to have be exposed around the first week of July and a second wave occurring about mid-July. Another dog which was boarded in Fletcher area has been confirmed by laboratory testing as having canine influenza .

The WECHU said the infection can spread quite easily among dogs, and a few important points should be noted:

  • Most dogs that develop influenza do not get seriously ill. Respiratory disease that is indistinguishable from other infectious respiratory diseases (canine infectious respiratory disease complex, also known as kennel cough) usually occurs, although serious (including fatal) infections and/or complications can develop.
  • Infected dogs can shed influenza virus for a short time prior to the onset of disease. So, dogs that appear to be healthy are still a potential source of infection.
  • Canine influenza vaccines can reduce the risk of disease and are available from veterinarians in Canada.
  • Cats can be infected but this appears to be rare.
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