Harmful K-9 flu virus is spreading through the country - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Harmful K-9 flu virus is spreading through the country

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - The H1N1 flu virus is sweeping through the country, but a dog flu virus known as H3N8 is also spreading throughout the country.

Doctor Bob Reich, a veterinarian at Quincy's Animal Medical Clinic, says the good news is that flu viruses cannot transfer back and forth between humans and pets. He says H3N8 outbreaks have been reported in Chicago, but he doesn't think breakouts are reported in Quincy, St. Louis and Springfield.

"Luckily we haven't because as contagious as it is, if it gets into a veterinary hospital or a grooming place, you have to close down six weeks to get it out of there," Reich said. "It basically will shut down a facility it's so contagious."

Reich says K-9 flu symptoms mirror what humans experience which include sneezing, coughing and a fever.

"All dogs, unless they're vaccinated, are prone to it," Reich said. "And it's very, very virulent. You could carry it on your feet. It's transferred dog to dog. And it's mostly in the boarding kennels and great concentrations of pets, dog shows, that type of thing."

Reich also says they vaccinate dogs that are frequent boarders at their clinic to protect against an outbreak at their office.
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