Canine Influenza Virus: Fact or Fiction?
An expert breaks down what you need to know
The H1N1 virus has been making headlines for nearly a year, yet there is still much confusion about the reality of the situation. Reports that use words like "outbreak" and "emerging disease" often incite fear and leave us gripped by overly active imaginations. Picturing imminent world collapse, we forget to take the time to study available information, separate fact from fiction, and follow a reasonable course of action.
In the veterinary and sheltering worlds, there are parallels in the reaction to the spread of canine influenza virus (CIV), which was first identified and made headlines in 2004.
Recently, CIV has been back in the spotlight following conditional licensure and release of the first canine influenza vaccine. Many questions—How effective is the vaccine? Should we test our animals? How concerned should we be?—have been circulating in the animal sheltering community. It seems an ideal time for those of us concerned about the health and welfare of dogs to refresh ourselves with available information, determine a reasonable action plan related to canine influenza virus, and separate fact from fiction.