Dog Flu in Calif. Has Not Spread Nationwide: Experts - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Dog Flu in Calif. Has Not Spread Nationwide: Experts

"We don’t have the (dog flu) virus spreading across the country like the human flu, where everyone gets infected," said one expert

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    13141037
    2
    Canada
    108927
    3
    Germany
    137626
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Mother of Five Scared Straight After Heart Attack in her 40s
    Viktor Drachev/TASS/Getty
    File photo

    A recent cluster of canine influenza cases in San Francisco has triggered unsubstantiated reports that the dog flu has spread nationwide. 

    The dog flu is real, but there's no evidence that it's spreading across the country, according to experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

    "We don’t have the (dog flu) virus spreading across the country like the human flu, where everyone gets infected. The virus infects dogs in a city and tends to die out over a few months," said Colin Parrish, a professor in canine virology at Cornell.

    The dog flu reportedly first showed up in the early 2000s in the United States. Parrish recounted that in 2015 a cluster of dog flu spread in Chicago from Korean rescue dogs. Last year, there were multiple outbreaks connected to a strain that surfaced in Georgia, Northern Florida, Kentucky, Texas and Minnesota. 

    Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    [NATL] Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    More than 300 trumpeter pigeons competed in an Iraqi beauty contest. It’s the first of its kind in the country, according to pageant organizers.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018)

    The dog flu is not seasonal like human flu. It can infect dogs year-round and spreads through direct contact from one dog to another, or by sneezing and coughing. The virus does not infect humans. 

    "There is nothing unusual in the present Bay Area outbreak. Even if it is a different virus from Asia, there’s no evidence that it’s unusually problematic or causing diseases beyond similar viruses that spread in other regions," Parrish said. 

    Experts say the influenza virus gets into an area, such as a shelter or kennel, may travel with a dog, then it dies out after a few months. Symptoms include coughing and elevated temperature, Parrish said. 

    There's no medication for the dog flu, but there is an effective vaccine that can be administered before the animal contracts the virus. The vaccine will reduce the severity of the symptoms. 

    AVMA spokesman Michael San Filippo said pet owners may want to talk to their vet, or stay away from dog parks or doggy day cares if concerned. 

    "I do not feel like we are in the midst of a large outbreak that pet owners need to be concerned about," said San Filippo.

    NRA Chief: It's Time 'to Harden Our Schools'

    [NATL] NRA Chief: It's Time 'to Harden Our Schools'

    NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference a week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, arguing it is time “to harden our schools.”

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018)