- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2017

Coughing, sneezing, lethargic behavior — they are worrying symptoms for anyone, but if they present in a canine, it could signal dog flu.

Twelve dogs in Florida tested positive for the H3N2 CIV strain of flu, the first and highest amount of the illness seen in the Sunshine State.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

It is believed the spread of the infection stemmed from either two dog shows, one in Perry, Georgia, and one in Deland, Florida. An similar outbreak of canine influenza occurred in Chicago in 2015, the statement said.

They also said that there’s no evidence that this particular strain of dog flu is threatening to humans.

Canine influenza is extremely contagious. It is spread by coughing, barking or sneezing and can be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus is able to stay alive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothes for 24 hours and hands for 12 hours, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

The AVMF advises dog owners who suspect their canine to be ill to see a veterinarian for treatment. Dogs can recover within two to three weeks with medications, fluids and rest. Infected animals should also be isolated to prevent transmission from other dogs, the foundation added.

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