Dog flu: Can humans catch it?

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Dog flu: Can humans catch it?

Question

Is it possible for humans to catch the dog flu from their dogs?

Karen
New Jersey

Answer

There is no evidence that the dog flu virus can infect humans, according to a media briefing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2005.

The dog flu (canine influenza) is a growing concern among dog owners in the United States. First reported in Florida in 2004, dog flu is highly contagious among dogs. Signs and symptoms in dogs include sneezing, coughing and fever. In severe cases, it can be fatal. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine and dogs have no immunity to this new flu.

Scientists believe that the virus that causes dog flu mutated from a strain of horse flu (equine influenza). The dog flu is not related to bird flu (avian influenza), which can infect humans.

Although there are no documented cases of human infection with the dog flu virus, the CDC continues to monitor cases of human exposure.

Last Updated: 12/01/2005
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