Metro-East News

Dogs are also catching a dangerous strain of the flu this year

Humans aren’t the only ones affected by this year’s particularly-nasty flu season: dogs are catching it as well.

Humans are affected by the H3N2 virus that is now widespread in all 50 states and has killed young and healthy people, including at least 20 children. It’s a different strain hitting the dogs, but it’s just as dangerous and even more contagious than the human strain, according to KMBC News.

Dog influenza has popped up across the U.S. and Canada, according to Newsweek. In San Francisco, one clinic has treated more than 50 cases in two weeks.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the dog flu is 10 percent fatal and can be fatal for cats, as well.

There is a canine version of the flu shot, which may or may not be recommended for your pet. Experts say to consult your veterinarian in case it’s appropriate for the family dog.

On the human side, a 10-year-old in perfect health died of the flu in Connecticut over the weekend, one of several that have died despite being in perfect health beforehand.

While the government is shut down, most CDC staff are furloughed and cannot continue their efforts to combat the flu, though the influenza monitoring activities will continue, according to Forbes.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald