Potentially fatal dog flu found in Florida for first time

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stated the cases of H3N2 canine flu were discovered at the University of Florida, which recorded another six pending instances of the illness.

The FDACS said it has not found any evidence that dog flu can cross over to humans.

The virus has been circulating in the US since 2015, and this is the first time it has been found in Florida, officials said. Most of the time, they recover at home without any complications, but some require hospitalization for treatment.

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If your dog is experiencing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, difficulty breathing, and or tiredness, then your dog may be suffering from dog flu, otherwise known as the H3N2 virus.

Despite not being spreadable to humans, the dog flu can infect cats, the Herald reported.

All of the dogs who have been diagnosed are being treated and are in stable condition. Most cases are not fatal, but, if left untreated, the virus can progress to pneumonia. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the illness spreads typically through coughing or sneezing and almost all dogs become infected with the illness at some point in their lives.

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Florida veterinarians are monitoring a canine flu outbreak that's already sickened at least a dozen dogs. Most dogs aren't immune to the disease, although a vaccination exists. Despite being extremely contagious and easily transmitted, the mortality rate is relatively low. Risky areas of transmission include grooming parlors and dog parks, the newspaper noted.

So far, seven cases of dog flu have been confirmed, officials said. Outbreaks commonly occur is places where dogs come in close contact with each other, such as kennels.

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