L.A. County Virus Outbreak Contained, but Be Aware

Callalloo CAndcy

By Carl Palazzolo, DVM, Long Beach Animal Hospital 

Photo by Callalloo Candcy.

In March, the Los Angeles County Department of Veterinary Public Health reported that H3N2 canine influenza was identified in dogs in Los Angeles (LA) County. Most of the dogs were imported from Asia and were seen by a veterinarian upon arrival in LA County. The dogs showed signs consistent with influenza, such as coughing, sneezing, fever and nasal discharge. A total of 27 dogs were sick with the disease and were treated with supportive care.

Final testing of two dogs revealed a strain of canine influenza (H3N2) commonly found in Asia. Most of the dogs have recovered, but further testing is pending. The disease is not transmissible to humans.

As of April 7, there have been 34 sick dogs reported, including five confirmed by laboratory testing (PCR) and 29 suspected. The sick dogs, plus an additional eight healthy but exposed dogs, are under quarantine or isolation in 10 locations around Los Angeles County. So far, there are no cases reported outside of these locations.

Samples from the several dogs have been submitted to veterinary virologists in order to compare this virus to the H3N2 canine influenza virus that caused the outbreak in dogs in Chicago in 2015.

Visit the link in the first paragraph for any updates. Meanwhile, to keep your dogs healthy, do the following:

  • If your dog shows the signs of influenza noted in the article, get him or her to your vet immediately
  • Keep your dog away from other dogs until you arrive at the vet’s office
  • Make sure your dog has been vaccinated. Interaction with other dogs at dog parks, beaches and other socializing area can spread disease if a dog isn’t inoculated
  • Do not allow your dog to share leashes, toys, or water or food bowls if there are signs of disease
  • Wash your hands after touching your dog

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