(FOX 11) There is a new dog flu in the Midwest which has sickened hundreds of dogs and LA County health authorities, who monitor animal diseases around the country, are keeping their eye on it.
The new virus, H3N2 is NOT the same dog flu that spread around the country a few years back. There was a vaccine for that strain (H3N8), but it does seem to work well for this type. There have been a few dog fatalities in the Chicago area that seem to be associated with this new strain, which started in Asia.
Health department officials emphasize there has been no infection from dogs to humans, anywhere...although in Asia, there were reports of dog to cat infection, which would be very unique. While again, there are no reports of this flu in California, the health department is putting the word out among vets, shelters, and now, the public.
The symptoms are similar to the human flu's: lethargy, fever, sneezing, diarrhea, vomiting and the transmission parameters are also the same. A dog passing by another one, on a leash, while being walked down the street, will probably not transfer it. But sharing food or water bowls, staying in close quarters, and licking, sniffling and all those other things dogs like to do in dog parks would present perfect forms of infection.
The LA County Health Department officials insist there is no reason to panic, and that they will put out alerts, if anything changes. People can find out more by going to their website at publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet