GAINSVILLE, Fla. (NEWS10) – According to the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, an outbreak of canine influenza has been confirmed eight states.
Confirmed cases of H3N2 have been reported in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and Illinois.
Common symptoms of the virus include sneezing, nasal discharge, and frequent coughing that can last two weeks or more. Many dogs have a fever, decreased appetite, and lethargy during the few days of illness. Some dogs can develop pneumonia, requiring hospital care.
Veterinarians with the University of Florida say most dogs do not have immunity to the virus so dogs of any breed or health status can be infected. Dogs most at risk are those in shelters or rescue groups, housed in communal facilities, or participate in group events.
Vaccinations are available and veterinarians say it’s the best way to protect against the canine influenza virus. Talk with your vet about the vaccine and best ways to protect your pet against the virus.
The virus has infected thousands of dogs in 30 states since it first emerged in 2015.
Health officials say there is no evidence that the virus can infect humans.