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The following is a transcript of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention teleconference
discussing the publication of a Science Journal
article, "Transmission of Equine Influenza Virus to
Dogs."

Media Briefing on Canine Influenza
Monday, September 26, 2005, 2:00 p.m.

OPERATOR: I would now like to turn the conference over
to Mr. Tom Skinner, Public Affairs Specialist with the
CDC. Please go ahead, sir.

MR. SKINNER: Thank you, Laura, and thank you all for
joining us today for this call where we're going to
discuss the publication of a Science Journal article,
"Transmission of Equine Influenza Virus to Dogs."

With us today are four participants; all have played a
very important role in the publication of this paper:
Dr. Ruben Donis from, the Centers for Disease Control;
Dr. Nina Marano from the Centers for Disease Control;
Dr. Cynda Crawford from the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Ed Dubovi from
Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostics Center.

What we're going to do is have Dr. Ruben Donis start
first by providing a three- or four-minute overview of
the paper, talk a little bit about how this pertains
to human health.

We'll then have Dr. Cynda Crawford provide the big
picture when it comes to veterinary medicine and the
issue of equine influenza virus in dogs.

Then we'll turn the call over to Dr. Nina Marano here
at the CDC who's going to speak a little bit about how
CDC is reaching out to the veterinary community, and
we'll also have Dr. Ed Dubovi be on the phone to
answer questions that may come in.

So at this time, I'm going to turn this over to Dr.
Donis, who's going to speak for three or four minutes.

Dr. Donis?

DR. DONIS: Okay. Thank you, Tom. Good afternoon,
everyone.

I would like to start by summarizing what is the
importance of the paper, which concerns a very rare
event of considerable scientific interest with regards
to understanding influenza virus transmission across
species barriers. And that's something that is in
everyone's mind these days for a variety of reasons
that you're aware of.

The paper started with an investigation of an acute
canine respiratory disease in the State of Florida,
and that was being investigated by Dr. Cynda Crawford,
and that was back in 2004. She collected samples from
sick dogs that were sent to Dr. Ed Dubovi at Cornell
University.

Dr. Dubovi started the sort of generic protocol trying
to identify the usual suspects. He failed to identify
the usual pathogens associate with respiratory
disease.

So after several trials, he came up with a very
unusual and unexpected finding; that was a virus that
he thought could be influenza virus.

That's when that specimen was sent to us at the CDC,
and the Influenza Branch, and initially Dr. Sasha
Klimov from the Influenza Branch identified this
tentatively as an H-3 virus, similar, related to an
equine virus.

From there, we performed nucleotide sequencing, and
determined that the sequence of the virus corresponded
to the H3 immunoglutinen and M8 neurominivase subtype.

So that usually is the type of influenza that is most
commonly found in horses. Therefore, at that time, we
continued the investigations, in collaboration with
Dr. Crawford and our colleagues at the Influenza
Branch, and several other investigators from the
University of Wisconsin, Auburn University, and we
were able to document that these respiratory
infections, which continued to occur, were not only
happening in the State of Florida but we identified
the infection in several other states in the United
States.

Subsequently, we continued--most of the
investigations, by the way, involved both molecular
tools, serological tools, and epidemiological
investigations. So it involved a large team of
investigators with a multi-pronged approach. We were
able to identify that the virus was also present in
domestic pet dogs.

And that's important because initially the virus was
identified in racing greyhounds, and there was some
speculation that the virus was exclusively causing
disease in greyhounds.

So we were able to document that the disease was also
present in the domestic dog population, first in the
State of Florida, and then in other states.

We found that the proportion of dogs that have fatal
disease is very small. Some dogs have subclinical or
inapparent infections and some have severe infections.
But Dr. Crawford will expand on the clinical aspects
of this.

So basically, to summarize, I wanted to say that the
data indicates that the virus is being transmitted
efficiently from dog to dog and this indicates that
the equine virus was transmitted to dogs and is now
well established in the dog population.

So what about the implications for public health? We
must keep in mind that this H3N8 equine influenza
virus has been in horses for over 40 years. In all
these years, we have never been able to document and
single case of human infection with this virus. So
that is something that I want everybody to take note
of so to dispel, you know, major panic. That's not to
say that there isn't any risk. We are going to monitor
all cases of possible human exposure, but, this point,
there is no reason to panic.

The other thing that I wanted to point out is the fact
that the virus is sensitive or it's predicted to be
sensitive--it's sensitive in the lab, and it's
predicted to be sensitive to antivirals in humans.

And so the other thing that I didn't point out I think
is that this is a type A virus; that is, totally
different from the type B influenza viruses.

So with that, I would like to close down and turn it
over to the moderator.

MR. SKINNER: Thanks, Dr. Donis. Now, I'll turn the
call over to Dr. Cynda Crawford from the University of
Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, who will spend
three or four minutes sort of giving us the big
picture in regards to canine influenza in the
veterinary community.

DR. CRAWFORD: Thank you. And I would like to
underscore what Dr. Donis has already pointed out and
on a couple of occasions that this is a newly emerging
pathogen in the dog population. And we have managed to
accumulate quite a lot of information on this new
canine influenza virus over a relatively short period
of time, and this was largely due to the
multi-institutional collaborative work that has
involved numerous people from the CDC Influenza
Branch. I would like to thank Dr. Donis and Dr. Jackie
Katz, and Dr. Alexander Klimov. And it involves
colleagues at the University of Wisconsin's College of
Veterinary Medicine and at Auburn University's College
of Veterinary Medicine, and, of course, Dr. Ed Dubovi
at Cornell, who has been the biggest key I think in
discovery of this new viral pathogen in the dog
population.

And with regard to what veterinarians will be
interested in knowing is that this virus can cause a
respiratory disease that mimics a syndrome that we
call kennel cough.

Now, kennel cough is just a syndrome, and it can be
due to a myriad of infectious agents--bacteria as well
as viruses. So the most common cause of kennel cough
has been a bacterium called bordetella bronchiseptica
and with information that we have to date, this still
may be the most common cause of respiratory infection
in dogs.

So the canine influenza virus is really the new kid on
the block for veterinarians to consider in their
differential diagnoses for kennel cough. They should
consider canine influenza if a dog presents to them
with a cough. They may have a nasal discharge and a
fever also.

And because kennel cough really is an infectious
disease, and it's a contagious disease regardless of
the cause, whether it's bordetella bronchiseptica or
canine influenza virus or other viruses, these dogs
should be handled with some precautions, precautions
that veterinarians normally use when they are treating
a patient that has a potential infectious disease that
is contagious to other dogs. So this type of
precaution would involve the isolation of the
respiratory disease or at least protection of other
dogs in their clinics, while this particular dog with
respiratory disease is undergoing diagnosis and
treatment and potentially hospitalization.

I'll also stress that despite the rumors that are out
on the Internet and other such sources, this disease
is not as deadly as people want to make it. Although
it's a new pathogen in dogs and nearly all dogs are
susceptible to infection based on our knowledge about
the virus to date, about 80 percent of them will have
a mild form of disease, just characterized by cough
and maybe some nasal discharge that will resolve over
time with appropriate therapy.

Only a minority of dogs, a small number of dogs,
experience complications such as pneumonia, just like
the humans infected with influenza, certain
populations of humans are more prone to development of
pneumonia. And it's a small number of humans compared
to everyone else.

So that is the same with canine influenza virus. It's
a small population of dogs that will develop
complications, most likely bacterial complications and
these dogs do need to be--have their treatment
supervised by a veterinarian.

In addition, since not all dogs will show a clinical
syndrome, showing that they have a respiratory
infection, there is a minority that are infected with
the virus, but will not show clinical signs to
announce to everybody that "I am sick." And it is very
difficult to find these dogs in the dog population.
And we're working on a more rapid means of
identification.

And lastly, I want to emphasize most of all that this
is not the deadly virus that certain sources have
played it up to be.

We have a very low mortality rate. And this is a
disease that I would characterize as one of high
morbidity and low mortality. Thank you.

MR. SKINNER: Okay. Thank you, and now I'm going to
turn the call over to Dr. Nina Marano, who's CDC's
lead scientist for public health issues related to
veterinary medicine, who will give you a brief
overview of how we're reaching out to the veterinary
community. Dr. Marano?

DR. MARANO: Thank you. We are working with four sets
of key partners to help respond to questions about
canine influenza. First and foremost is that we are
working very closely with our colleagues who are on
the call--Dr. Dubovi and Dr. Crawford at the
University of Florida and at Cornell University--to
understand how this newly emerging pathogen is
affecting canine health and to seek their
recommendations for management with veterinary
clinics, advice for veterinarians, advice for people
who run shelters, and, of course, for pet owners.

We also partner with the American Veterinary Medical
Association, which is the organization that represents
70,000 practicing veterinarians in the United States;
and with the National Assembly of State Animal Health
Officials, which are the state veterinarians in each
state; and also with the National Association of State
Public Health Veterinarians.

So we feel like we have a very good solid framework
for coordination and for communication between these
four sets of partners.

Right now, it certainly appears that canine influenza
is restricted to the dog population, and we'll defer
to our veterinary colleagues' expertise and for advice
and recommendations for management in the dog
population. And I wanted to reiterate what Dr. Donis
said earlier in the call; that H3N8 has never infected
humans; and that we will certainly monitor human
exposure and we'll work closely with our key partners
here to coordinate any messages to monitor this
emerging pathogen.

That's really all I wanted to say. Thank you.

MR. SKINNER: Okay. Ms. Prull, I think we're ready for
questions, and I understand there are a large number
of reporters on the call, so we're going to restrict
questions to just one question, so we can get through
as many reporters' questions as possible.

So let's begin with question and answer, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. And at this time, if you would
like to ask a question, please press star one on your
touch tone phone. To withdraw your request, you may
press star two.

One moment please for the first question.

Our first question comes from Randolph Schmid with The
Associated Press.

MR. SCHMITT: Hello. Yes. Dr. Crawford mentioned
several times it had a low mortality rate. High
morbidity and low mortality. Can you give us any
numbers of what the mortality rate is?

MR. SKINNER: Go ahead, Dr. Crawford.

DR. CRAWFORD: I also want to emphasize that we don't
have all the answers to the questions just yet, and we
are working diligently on defining this disease
syndrome in the dog population, so we have a few
numbers to work with, and we are accumulating more
data very rapidly on a daily basis. So these numbers
could change.

At this time, I think--and it's hard to get reports of
dogs that die of pneumonia. And it is even harder to
get reports of dogs that have died of pneumonia in
terms of was the cause verified.

But in those dogs where the cause of death was
verified by diagnostic testing, we are looking at on
the order of five to eight percent.

MR. SKINNER: Okay. Next question please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from
Jacob Goldstein with the Miami Herald.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes. Hi. I saw a reference in the
article to data collected from South Florida. I wonder
if in that context or in any other for that matter you
can talk at all to the extent to which this disease is
present in South Florida.

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Crawford, do you want to take that
question, please?

DR. CRAWFORD: We do not have any evidence that canine
influenza virus was infecting the pet dog sector out
of the greyhound racing industry until late this year,
actually April to May 2005, when we began receiving
samples for diagnostic testing from some shelters and
boarding facilities, Humane Societies, and a few
veterinary clinics that had dogs they thought may be
candidates for infection with canine influenza virus.

So we are still accumulating samples on a daily basis
to define the extent of canine influenza virus
infection in dogs. But, yes, there have been some
scientific evidence-based, verified occurrences of
canine influenza in South Florida in shelters,
boarding facilities and veterinary clinics.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Maggie Fox of Reuters, your line is now
open.

MS. FOX: Can you tell us a little bit about the
mechanism by which this virus changed so that it could
infect dogs and then pass easily from dog to dog? And
can you talk a little bit about some of the species
barriers that exist in influenza viruses with an
obvious eye to the avian influenza virus?

MR. SKINNER: I'll ask Dr. Donis here at CDC to answer
that question.

DR. DONIS: We sequenced the hemagglutinin gene and we
found depending on the isolate between eight and ten
amino acid changes in the hemagglutinin. We speculate
at this point because we haven't finished the research
that these changes may affect the interaction of the
virus with cellular receptors. In addition to that,
there are changes in other genes which may affect
other aspects of the interaction of the virus with the
host and this is exactly the most important part of
the study we believe from the perspective of
understanding interspecies transmission.

So the answer to your question is we're working on it
and I think that it is a very, very important point.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Daniel DeNoon with WebMD, your
line is now open.

MR. DeNoon: Thank you. I'd like to ask if there is any
work underway on a canine vaccine.

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Crawford, do you want to talk about
that?

DR. CRAWFORD: Yes, there is work underway and has been
for a few months now.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Rob Stein with The Washington
Post, your line is now open.

MR. STEIN: Thank you very much. Could you tell us in
how many states now been identified and which states
they are and what indications do you have as to how
quickly or rapidly it's spreading?

MR. SKINNER: I'll ask Dr. Donis to answer that
question, and then if Dr. Crawford has something to
add afterwards.

DR. DONIS: We have identified only one strain of the
virus. As to how rapidly it's spreading, probably Dr.
Crawford can probably address that.

DR. CRAWFORD: And I would like to do so in
collaboration with Dr. Dubovi from Cornell's Animal
Health Diagnostics Center because he has been also
testing dogs.

I can speak for the State of Florida that so far from
samples we've received to date that have been tested,
we have documented the infection in dogs in Florida,
and maybe Dr. Dubovi can expound on that.

DR. DUBOVI: From the samples we have available, we can
absolutely document the infection in the New York City
area, and there's other evidence to suggest that at
least a dog that currently resides in Massachusetts
was infected, but the question as to where it may have
picked that infection up we really don't know.

So like I say, the coming week there are a number of
samples flowing in from a number of these cases where
there are suspected outbreaks, so that map should
expand or at least be better detailed by the end of
this week.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Lisa Krieger with The San Jose
Mercury News, your line is now open.

MS. KRIEGER: Thank you. Just to follow-up on the
previous question, could you address the issue of how
rapid transmission is likely to happen? Given the
behavior of other viruses of this type, should it be
of national concern?

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Crawford has been involved in this
for well over a year now looking at this. I'll ask her
to answer that question.

MR. CRAWFORD: Maybe I can address it in this way. In
terms of the rapidity of spread from one state where
infection has been documented in dogs to other states,
it would need to travel with the dog. So to spread
from state to state would just depend on a dog's
movements.

However, we don't know about states other than
Florida, New York and possibly Massachusetts. We can't
tell you at this time if this virus has actually been
infecting dogs in the Midwest or western sectors of
the country even before we documented it in Florida or
New York. So I have received several phone calls from
veterinarians from all over the country who think they
have seen this type of clinical disease in their dogs
that they are dealing with.

So at this time we cannot say with any accuracy
whether this virus is restricted to New York, Florida
and potentially Massachusetts or if it's in other
sectors of the country and maybe in North America that
we just don't know about because we haven't completed
testing on samples that have been graciously submitted
by veterinarians all over.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Amanda Spake with U.S. News and
World Report, your line is now open.

MS. SPAKE: Thanks. Some of my questions have been
answered, but in terms of the mortality rate, you said
you think it's somewhere between 6 and 8 percent. But
the first example you give in your paper of the
January 2004 outbreak you have a case fatality rate of
36 percent. Could you possibly explain what the
difference is here?

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Crawford?

DR. CRAWFORD: Yes. I think it's a numbers game. That
first incident in January 2004 at a Florida greyhound
race track was a very small outbreak largely because
of the quick response of the track management in
containing the dogs that were involved in the
outbreak. Although a large number of dogs were
infected, only a small number even had clinical signs.

I cannot speculate on why there was a higher mortality
rate in that very, very small outbreak other than
maybe it was just a matter of numbers. But as we've
tracked canine influenza virus infection at racing
greyhound tracks around the country, there are
thousands of dogs that are infected but very, very few
that actually succumb to a pneumonia-like syndrome. So
if you test more and more dogs, your numbers will
change in terms of numbers that get sick and numbers
that have a fatal outcome.

I don't know if that's addressed your question or not,
but I think it kind of may leave false impressions if
you base morbidity and mortality rates on a single
outbreak when that may have been the more unusual
manifestation compared to larger populations or a
larger number of dogs are followed.

MR. SKINNER: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Barbara Tunick from The Bark
Magazine, your line is now open.

MS. TUNICK: Thank you very much. My question is
regarding dog owners. Since many of the exposed dogs
may not show symptoms, what precaution should dog
owners take when they bring their dogs to the vet or
groomers, the dog parks? Are there any kind of medical
treatments or precautions available?

Secondly, the exposed dogs who do not show symptoms,
will they eventually get sick and are they contagious
to other dogs?

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Crawford, do you want to address that
one?

DR. CRAWFORD: I can address that last part. I don't
know if Dr. Marano would like to address the first
part with regard to precautions taken on the part of
the dog owners in terms of where do they take their
dogs.

The ones that do not have clinical signs despite being
infected by the virus really do not show clinical
signs at any point. For some reason that we do not
know, these dogs simply just do not get overtly sick.
Are they contagious to other dogs? Yes, we believe
they are.

Dr. Marano, do you want to address taking your dog to
various places where other dogs congregate or would
you like for me to?

DR. MARANO: I think it's important to take a
common-sense approach from what Dr. Crawford told us
earlier on the call, that there's evidence that there
have been some occurrences in Florida and New York,
possibly Massachusetts. So I don't think that there's
any cause for panic. I think that owners should take
reasonable precautions in terms of if it's possible,
for instance, to--you know, if your dog is exhibiting
any signs of a respiratory illness, you certainly want
to get some advice from your veterinarian, and if you
do present your dog to a veterinarian, you want to
make sure your veterinarian knows whether your dog had
been at a boarding kennel recently.

I would certainly make sure that you are using a
boarding kennel, that you use one that is well-known
to you, that you are familiar with, and I would
continue to be alert to pronouncements that are coming
out in terms of any outbreaks that are occurring in
your area.

But I certainly would not be panicking at this point
as far as we have to take the dog. In the absence of
further communications about where this might be going
next, I think it's just a time to be very watchful and
alert and take a reasonable approach but certainly not
to panic.

MODERATOR: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Helen Branswell with the Canadian
Press, your line is now open.

MS. BRANSWELL: Thank you. Dr. Donis, you mentioned
that this strain of influenza has been in horses for
about 40 years and there's no evidence of people
picking it up from horses, but as it moves into
domestic dogs, the possibility of contact and
reassortment, it would seem to me, would be a great
deal higher if it moved into vast numbers of dogs than
in horses. Is that the case?

And also, I'm wondering, the amino acid changes that
you've noticed, can you predict from looking at them
whether or not that would make this virus more or less
likely to move into humans?

DR. DONIS: So that's a very good question. So
basically the number of amino acid changes is still
very small, so this virus is still very, very closely
related to the equine virus, and so given the, quote,
unquote, safety track record of the equine virus in
humans, I think it would be a stretch to really raise
the level of alarm in any way.

It may actually pose even a lesser risk for humans. So
the bottom line is we don't know and the bottom line
we'll investigate but basically there will be a
surveillance plan and we will be following up the
reports and investigate with our partners in the
veterinary science and veterinary colleges, and we're
taking it seriously but at this point there is no
reason for alarm.

MODERATOR: Next question, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Erin Sikes with NBC, your line is
now open.

MS. SIKES: Great. Actually, all my questions have been
answered, so I'm good. Thanks.

OPERATOR: Thank you. We'll go on to the next question.
Cindy Tamil with San Antonio Express News, your line
is now open.

MS. TAMIL: Thank you. I think this has sort of been
answered but I want to clarify it. People with dogs
routinely take them in and get something called
bordetella vaccine and I think what I'm hearing is
that this bordetella vaccine that is now given is not
necessarily any--that there's not gonna be any
protection from that vaccine against this strain of
flu. Is that known?

MODERATOR: Dr. Crawford, do you want to take a stab at
that one?

DR. CRAWFORD: The most common cause that we know of,
to date, for kennel cough, is bordetella
bronchiseptica. And that is what is in the kennel
cough vaccine, that most people do elect to have their
dog vaccinated with, in particular, dogs that are
being boarded or going to the groomer, are asked--the
clients are asked to have those dogs vaccinated
against kennel cough or bordetella bronchiseptica, and
in addition, parainfluenza virus, which is quite
different from influenza virus. But there is no
protection afforded by the kennel cough vaccine
against influenza virus. Just bordetella and
parainfluenza virus. Does that clarify your question?

MS. TAMIL: I think so. I had forgotten about the
parainfluenza. I guess basically people who give their
dogs these shots should not expect that these shots
are going to protect their dogs from this new strain
that's out there.

DR. CRAWFORD: No, there won't be any cross-protection
afforded by that vaccine. However, I do urge them to
keep their kennel cough vaccines updated because, once
again, it may be that bordetella bronchiseptica and/or
parainfluenza virus may turn out to be the more common
causes of kennel cough until we know a little bit more
about the pervasiveness of canine influenza virus in
the pet dog population.

MODERATOR: Before we go to the next question, one
thing that hasn't been really discussed that's
important are some of the circumstances around Dr.
Dubovi's discovery of this virus, and I was just
hoping he could take a minute or two to elaborate on
that.

DR. DUBOVI: In terms of circumstances, I think that
the issue of this particular case sort of points out,
I think from my perspective, what a number of us have
been saying for a number of years, is that there's a
tremendous need out there within the, particularly the
animal populations and pet populations for a
surveillance program just for this kind of an activity
or incident.

That is, something unusual occurs within a population
for which we're totally not expecting. We had some
success in this area of identifying this because we
took a very broad perspective on how to go about
attacking this problem in the virus isolation, and
fortunately, I say with some luck, were able to come
up with the issue.

But I think that what the take-home message has to be
in here is that we need to be looking for unusual
events and we need to have the capability at our
regional laboratories to be able to identify these
unusual events, and like I say, we were just fortunate
enough to have been in the right place at the right
time to have picked up this particular event that
occurred, and it's occurred probably multiple times,
but to have identified a new agent in a different
species, and now we can progress to try and develop
the prevention strategies.

But this may not be the last time we're going to see
this and we have, you know, 50 plus million dogs, we
have 50 plus million cats out there, and these animals
sometimes become sentinels for other things that, as I
say, we're not quite expecting.

We've had the West Nile incursion into the U.S. and
with an identification of that by an astute
observation of a pathologist, and people on the
ground, who are looking at dogs and cats and other pet
animals are going to be the ones who identify these
unusual events. We need to have the capability of
first-ate diagnostic systems to be able to identify
unusual pathogens when they come along.

MODERATOR: Thank you, and we'll take a few more
questions, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Donald McNeil from the New York
Times, your line is now open.

MR. McNEIL: Thank you. Could the speakers be more
specific about any recommendations or precautions they
might recommend. Should people avoid walking their
dogs with other dogs? Should they avoid walking their
dogs with dogs that are coughing? Should they avoid
taking their dogs to kennels or to grooming salons or
anything like that? Should kennels refuse dogs that
are coughing? Are there any recommendations now?

MODERATOR: You know, Donald, this is very much a work
in progress, and no formal guidance has been
developed, but there are some common sense approaches
that people can take, and I think Dr. Crawford may be
able to elaborate a little bit more on those. Dr.
Crawford?

DR. CRAWFORD: I will take the first stab at it and I
encourage my colleagues to contribute their
perspectives also.

I guess maybe one way to answer this question is I am
taking my two Pekinese to be groomed next week to a
groomer that sees many dogs during the day. I will
continue to board my pet greyhound at boarding kennels
when I need to.

I will continue to show dogs at the American Kennel
Club sanctioned shows.

So I, myself, will continue on with my routine
activities with my own dogs. They will go to dog
parks. They will participate in other community
activities with other dogs.

However, I think common sense is a good term to use in
that dog owners who have a dog with a respiratory
infection or that has just recovered from a
respiratory infection should probably keep the dog at
home until a couple of weeks have elapsed, number one,
for that dog to recover fully, and number two, in case
that dog has an infectious disease, whether it's flu
or not, that could be communicable to other dogs that
it is around.

I think veterinarians have become aware of canine
influenza virus and have continued their practices of
taking precautions with communicable diseases, and
most likely upgraded their precautions in addition.

But as far as your average dog owner, I think they
should continue to walk their dog on the street, do
all the other dog-related activities, but just use
common sense about taking your dog out in public, if
it has had, or has recently recovered from a
respiratory infection.

MODERATOR: Do any of the other participants have
anything to add to that? If not, we'll go to the next
question. Let's go to the next question then, please.

OPERATOR: Thank you.

Lance Gay with Scripps Howard News Service, your line
is now open.

MR. GAY: Did you say--do you know anything about
whether or not this virus can be transmitted back from
dogs to horses and from dogs to other animals? Do you
know anything more about the infectivity, number one.

Number two, do you know how--when the transfer took
place? Has it only just been a couple of years or has
there been some underlying disease here that you're
just finding out about?

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Dubovi, do you want to take a stab at
that one?

DR. DUBOVI: Well, it's a stab. I mean currently we
certainly in most of the veterinary diagnostic systems
are monitoring not only dogs but horses and should
there be a canine or an equine isolation coming from
horses that are associated with a problem in dogs,
this virus will be isolated and the sequence being
done to see if that kind of a transfer is occurring.
But the evidence--at this point in time, there's
absolutely no evidence of the transfer from the
horses--or from the dogs to the horses.

This transfer, if you will, from horses, if that's
where it came from--into the dogs is, as I say, has
probably has been somewhat of a recent event in that
when we just do general screens of dog samples from
past years, we're not seeing any hint of a reactivity
to this particular virus.

So based on that--obviously maybe some flimsy
information--we can go back and test thousands of
samples if we have to. But right now, the best guess
is that this has not been an introduction that's
occurred many years ago, but it's a fairly new one.

MR. SKINNER: Okay. Let's take one last question
please.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our final question comes from
Michelle Gile with KCAL Television.

MS. GILE: Hi. Thank you. Have you received or are you
testing samples from California? And if so, when and
where? And also is this as simple as an infected dog
coughing on another dog and is that how this virus is
passed?

MR. SKINNER: Dr. Dubovi, do you want to take a stab at
that one?

DR. DUBOVI: I don't personally have any information on
samples from California. I know Dr. Crawford had
collected a number of samples, which we're currently
testing, but I don't know quite the location.

So as I say, as time goes on, we certainly--I know
there's samples in the pipeline coming in from
California and Colorado and New Mexico, et cetera. So
as I say, later on in the week, we'll have a bit more
information, so I certainly can't give you any
information on where and when anything has been
collected out of California.

As far as transmission, is it just as simple as one
dog sneezing on another? I think the best guess we
have right now is that if you project how--probably
influenza travels from person to person, you could
probably think that that's probably how it's going to
transfer from dog to dog.

MR. SKINNER: Okay. Thank you. That's going to conclude
our call today. Thank you all, the participants and
all the media that called in. Feel free to call the
various press offices of the participants for any
follow-up questions you may have. And we'll keep you
posted as we learn more. Thank you very much.

Goodbye.

OPERATOR: Thank you. This does conclude today's
conference call. We thank you for your participation.

http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/transcripts/t050926.htm
 

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Thank you for posting this. The coverage on last nights Philadelphia news channel was much more alarmist in nature, and I was glad to have read this balanced and informative release before seeing that broadcast. I'm forwarding your post to other dog owners.
 

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Hmmmm..... The Today Show did a blurb on the canine flu this morning, citing a couple of doggie day cares that closed because of the flu. And it appeared, in their report, that the flu has been identified in a number of states, several more than were mentioned here. 'Course, the Today Show is based in New York, and I've been hearing about outbreaks there for a few months.

I also got an email from a friend of mine whose daughter shows Pyrs. Two of her dogs went to a show in Kansas a couple of weeks ago, and now are dealing with this illness. Her vet won't allow dogs with flu symptoms in the clinic -- she's making house calls. Sounds like a very sensible approach.

I'm not alarmed, but my antenna is certainly up!
 

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A local news station is saying we've had some deaths from it here --- their coverage is a bit unclear, and i can't figure out if they're saying we've had three or fifty deaths locally (?) --- which is quite a difference.

In any case, thanks for posting this --- this is quite a bit more informative than what they're saying around here (groan).
 
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