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Canine Flu Outburst In Chicago


More than 1,000 dogs in Chicago have been hit with canine influenza, as reported by ABC News on Monday. The virus urged the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control to issue an advisory following the deaths of five dogs, according to Dr. Jerry Klein.

“It’s almost an epidemic. I’ve been here for 35 years. It’s probably the worst type of outbreak I’ve ever experienced.”

People cannot catch the virus, but it’s highly contagious among dogs, according to Dr. Anne Cohen, an emergency veterinarian.

“This isn’t a typical vaccination we give, but because of the outbreak, we’re recommending it for all high-risk dogs.”

Treating a dog with influenza can cost thousands, but a yearly shot is cheap by comparison, just $100, WBBM reported.

Dogs who are more likely to catch influenza spend time at the groomers, day care and animal-friendly parks, according to PetSmart spokesman Andy Izquierdo.

“If they’ve been in a boarding facility, if they’ve been at a doggy day camp, or a dog park, that’s an area where this virus can be spread. Take a look at your dog, look for symptoms, keep them isolated if at all possible.”

The canine flu symptoms are similar to the human flu: fever, cough, nasal discharge and lack of energy. Another comparison to the human flu is that it can be caught through sneezes and coughs, nose-to-nose contact or from infected surfaces.

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