In response to the news that some cases of canine influenza have been reported in Fairfax County, Kristen Auerbach, director of communications and outreach for the Fairfax County animal shelter, offered the following additional information to local dog owners.
"On July 26, 2013, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter suspended the intake of dogs because of a suspected outbreak of canine influenza.
About a dozen dogs had fallen sick with an unidentified upper respiratory illness, and one dog died.
All sick and exposed animals were tested. Several tested positive for canine pneumovirus, but all dogs tested negative for canine influenza.
Pneumovirus is a serious, contagious illness, but it is not as deadly as canine influenza.
All of the sick and exposed dogs were cleared by the veterinarian in mid-August, and there have been no other cases of canine upper respiratory illness in the shelter since then, shelter staff said.
Animals that are housed in a group setting, just like people, can be more susceptible to communicable illnesses. At the shelter, we isolate animals immediately when we notice symptoms of any illness, and we work closely with our veterinarians to diagnose the illness and nurse animals back to good health quickly."
Dog owners - are you concerned about canine pneumovirus or influenza? Tell us in the comments below.