DeKalb County health officials warn to watch for dog flu
Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 10:40 p.m. CDT
By DARIA SOKOLOVA dsokolova @shawmedia.com
SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Health Department is encouraging anyone whose dog is exhibiting symptoms of canine influenza to contact a veterinarian.Symptoms may include a soft, moist or dry cough, high fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge and lethargy, health officials said in a news release. Almost 80 percent of dogs exposed to the virus exhibit symptoms, while some may not show any.
An influenza outbreak has afflicted more than 1,000 dogs in the Chicago region. No cases had been reported to the DeKalb County Health Department as of Wednesday, said Cindy Capek, the health department’s director of health promotion and emergency preparedness.
“We haven’t had any cases in this area,” Capek said. “It’s just so people know the signs and symptoms in case they see it with their pets. Chicago is getting hit pretty bad.”
Canine influenza is an emerging disease to which few dogs are immune, regardless of their breed or age, the news release said. Humans cannot get the disease.
To reduce the spread of the virus, pet owners might want to keep their dogs away from dog parks and avoid boarding dogs in kennels, the news release said.
A fact sheet about canine influenza can be found on the American Veterinary Medical Association website: www.avma.org.
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