|`Influenza is actually more contagious than parvovirus,` Crawford explains, `because it can be transmitted through the air, and dogs were just as naive of this virus as they were to parvo when it came to the U.S. in 1978.`
Dogs in 50 states have been tested for the virus, with more than 4,000 veterinarians submitting blood samples for analysis. With so many states reporting positive results, this influenza is not simply confined to shelters or racetracks, but veterinary practices as well.
`This isn`t a dirty shelter disease,` says Dr. Miranda Spindel, director of Veterinary Services at the Larimer Humane Society (LHS) in Colorado. `Canine influenza is in veterinary clinics, boarding facilities. Anywhere dogs go, so does this virus.`
Spindel, who is starting a residency in shelter medicine at Colorado State University, says any open-intake facility receiving and dismissing dogs can have a dog incubating and shedding virulent disease. She ramped up on canine influenza when LHS was hit with an outbreak.
Canines are the newest mammalian host for this virus, Crawford says. `There is no indication that canines will be the last species to be hit with emerging strains.`
Officials are battling canine influenza brush fires throughout the United States.
Source: Jessica Tremayne: Canine flu confirmed in 22states. In: DVM Newsmagazine Aug 1, 2006
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