We have all heard about the recent influenza outbreak in Chicago and surrounding areas. We have taken many calls asking about treatment and prevention. There is a vaccine (that we do not carry) but just today (4/16/15) Cornell University published results showing the outbreak it being caused by a strain of the virus not previously seen in the US and is actually known as the Asian influenza virus. Thus there is a large doubt currently as to whether the available vaccine will have any affect on the new virus. Sometimes a vaccine will give some protection against a new strain with “cross protection,” but sometimes it will have no affect. We just don’t know right now.
The best way to protect your furry family member is to stop interactions with new canines that you don’t know the medical history. The virus causes fever and a cough, so if you see those signs don’t let your “puppy” play with this individual. Our kitty friends are not immune to this and can also contract the virus but seem to rebound faster. People cannot get the virus. The virus will spread through anything (fomite) that has the virus on it (blankets, clothes, toys, bowls, ect), thus regularly cleaning is a great prevention.
As we learn more I will keep you updated. We have seen NO cases at our clinic or to my knowledge in Northern Kentucky.