How Dog Flu Works

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Author's Note: How Dog Flu Works

Before I started researching dog flu for this assignment, I hadn't heard of the April 2015 outbreak in the Midwest (I'm writing this in May), which appears to be quite serious and now has some people crying "epidemic." I chose not to dwell on this outbreak – this article is about solid information, not a still-unfolding situation with understandably mixed reports. But since I've been writing this, I've seen daily updates, and for some reason none of them has provided a very useful context that I now find myself able to offer, so here goes: In the initial weeks of the Midwest outbreak, it seems more than 1,000 dogs came down with the flu. I wasn't really sure if that was a lot until I tracked down CIV-infection data from Cornell University (which I did include in the article and admittedly was hiding in some distant Internet nook), and according to Cornell, in the 10 years leading up to March 2015 there were a maximum of 2,300 confirmed cases of dog flu in the United States. So it seems 1,000 dogs infected in a couple of weeks is, indeed, a LOT. (Good to know, right?)

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  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). "Canine Influenza Virus/Canine Flu." (May 11, 2015)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "Canine Influenza." April 22, 2015. (May 22, 2015)
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  • Bowen, Melinda. "Dog Smarts: Understanding Canine Influenza in Advance with Dr. Bowen." April 16, 2015. (May 22, 2015)
  • Blum Animal Hospital. "Frequently Asked Questions: 2015 Canine Influenza Outbreak." April 21, 2015. (May 27, 2015)
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