“Right now, Florida has been spared and it has spread from Chicago to Atlanta. Now we have confirmed cases of the new variety H3N2 in Atlanta. We expect it; we’re just trying to be cautious ahead of time,” said Dr. Bryan Flood, animal care veterinarian at Twin Lakes Center.
Since June 25, there have been 55 confirmed cases in Atlanta. Reportedly, there are also positive results of the dog flu in various states, including Iowa, Indiana and Massachusetts.
The virus hasn’t made it to Florida yet but experts believe it’s likely.
According to the experts, there are two viruses that cause the dog flu: the H3N8 and the H3N2. The H3N2 strain, responsible for the latest outbreak, is mostly found in Asia and had never been in North America until April this year.
Experts assure that there’s no evidence that it can be transmitted from dogs to people.
“Dog parks are being criticized as sources of spread. Unfortunately, kennels boarding facilities where dogs are under stress and dogs and travel to the region come through airports in particular are of concern,” said Dr. Flood.
Symptoms of the disease include runny eyes, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.
“But it lasts longer than a brief period of kennel cough which is typically a week or two. The new flu can last up to months it could cause fever, deep cough and a loss of appetite etc.,” Flood said.
There is a flu vaccine for dogs but it’s only for the H3N8 strain — not the H3N2.
Source: News for Jax