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US Dog Owners Warned of Dog Flu Epidemic

Update Date: Jan 31, 2016 03:12 PM EST

An important news for all the dog owners in US, your pet may be developing a case of H3N2 influence, also popularly known as the dog flu. Veterinarians have warned the pet owners in United States as the virus seems to be spreading across the country. According to the media reports, the canine influenza is a highly contagious H3N2 strain and has been detected in Austin, Texas. The experts recommend the owners to be careful. Since last spring, more than 2,000 dogs have been infected by the H3N2 outbreak in over 40 states. The virus came to light in Chicago when more than 1,000 dogs contracted the disease, reported Tech Times.

H3N8 and H3N2 virus together cause the dog flu. As per Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the disease has only been known to infect the animals. There has been no evidence of its transference from dogs to humans. However, as a precautionary measure, the dog owners are advised to refrain from taking their pets, that have been infected by the virus, to dog parks and other places where the pets gather. "Be wary of public places," said Meredith Millwood, a spokesperson for Atlanta Humane Society. "Dog parks are a gamble you're taking with dogs you don't know," as reported by CNN

The virus is known to spread amongst dogs from shelters and kennels. "It kind of stunned most of us in the veterinary community because it spread like wildfire," veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward told CBS News when the first wave of the outbreak was raging last April. As per the experts, this strain of virus was first spotted in Asia and has appeared in US only recently. "None of the dogs have immunity to fight it off, so you see large numbers of dogs getting ill when the virus starts to circulate," Dr. Beth Lipton, veterinarian for Public Health Seattle and King County, told CBS News.

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