McHenry County Dog Dies of Canine Influenza

A dog in McHenry County has died from the canine influenza, with at least two other dogs also showing symptoms of the virus, health officials announced Monday.

Health department spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush told the Northwest Herald the late 8-year-old dog was being held in McHenry County Animal Control’s facility along with the two other pets that are suspected of having the virus. All three cases surfaced in the past two weeks, she told the publication.

McHenry County Animal Control has since canceled upcoming events that were scheduled to be held at the facility.

Animal health experts say the canine influenza virus has affected at least 1,100 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

Recent tests from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have identified the strain as H3N2. Clinical assistant professor Keith Poulsen says it's not yet known how effective current vaccines are against this strain, which is believed to have come from Asia.

The virus can cause persistent cough, runny nose and fever in dogs. Experts say a small percentage will develop more severe symptoms.

Veterinarians say the canine strain is not related to the avian flu and is not contagious to humans.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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