SEARCH

Entries in Flu Shots (10)

Thursday
Feb212013

Flu Shots Effective for Majority of Recipients, Says CDC

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Did you get a flu shot this year and still catch the flu?  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it happened quite a bit this year, but the shots did prevent millions from getting sick too.  
 
According to the CDC's estimates of the effectiveness of the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine, shots were just 56 percent effective this year for types A and B flu.  

That may be good for those vaccine recipients included in that majority, but the news is not so great for the 44 percent of people whose shot didn't help.   

And, it turns out, getting the shot worked better for those who caught influenza B. That vaccine stopped the bug nearly 70 percent of the time in those cases, the CDC reported. The vaccine for flu type A gave recipients a less-than-50-percent chance of staying healthy.

The shot for both A and B also gave children slightly better odds than elderly adults. The vaccine was more effective in 64 percent of child recipients, compared to just 27 percent of seniors.

Given that the CDC's findings indicate the vaccine "provided substantial protection against influenza for most people who got vaccinated," the center and experts maintain your best line of defense against the flu is vaccination.
 
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan182013

Sundance, Inauguration Organizers Brace for Flu

Hemera/Thinkstock(PARK CITY, Utah) -- This weekend will be big for movie buffs, football fans and Barack Obama. But as Americans flock to the Sundance Film Festival, the NFL playoffs and the Presidential Inauguration, the weekend could also be big for the flu.

About 35,000 Americans have been sickened by an early and nasty wave of influenza, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while the outbreak appears to be abating, flu activity is still widespread.

"Our biggest concern is people coming in asymptomatic but carrying the virus," said Rob Allen, chief executive officer of Park City Hospital in Park City, Utah, the home of Sundance.

Utah is one of 33 states reporting high levels of influenza activity. And Park City, home to roughly 40,000 people, will more than double its population this weekend as actors, director, producers and fans fill its hotels, restaurants and theaters.

"We have 50,000 people coming in, potentially bringing with them flu from their areas," said Allen, who partnered with local businesses to distribute hand sanitizer as visitors arrive. "If they practice good hand hygiene, hopefully they won't spread it so we can keep it isolated."

The flu virus spreads through microscopic respiratory droplets that travel six feet in a cough or a sneeze and survive on skin and other surfaces.

"And influenza can be spread by someone who's not yet sick," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. "They'll become sick tomorrow, but today they're emitting the virus as they exhale."

The best protection against the flu, according to the CDC, is the flu shot. This year's vaccine guards against three widespread strains of the virus and is 62 percent effective.

"We recognize that the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, but it's the foundation on which all other protection is built," said Schaffer.

Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer can also guard against the virus. The Georgia Dome -- home of the Atlanta Falcons and Sunday's National Football Conference championship football game -- has hand sanitizer pumps at every entry gate.

"That's standard policy for us," said Jason Kirksey, a spokesman for the 70,000-seat stadium. "With any event we have here, the safety and security of our fans is our number one priority, and that includes protection from any kind of airborne disease."

But football fans should still fight the urge to high-five and hug, according to Schaffner.

"School children are now taught that during an influenza outbreak, handshakes are out," he said, describing how flu-fearing students are bumping elbows in lieu of high-fives. "But at exciting and emotional events, it's hard to resist. So get vaccinated and try not to hug someone who's coughing or sneezing."

Sunday's Presidential Inauguration is expected to draw 800,000 people to Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will man medical stations along the National Mall.

"Our advice for the inauguration is the same advice for a day-to-day basis," said HHS spokeswoman Elleen Kane. "Make sure you get the flu shot; if you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow; wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your nose and mouth; and if you feel sick, stay home."

"It's pretty hard to protect yourself from the flu when you are in a crowd," said ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser. "Sure, you can use hand sanitizer to clean your hands. But when the person next to you lets go with a big sneeze or a cough, you are sunk."

And it's not just the crowded events, according to Schaffner. "It's the travel to and from the events," he said, describing how packed airplanes and busy airports can teem with germs. "There's only so much you can do when you're in 13C and someone's sneezing in 13B. It's an unlucky row."

So while the weekend will be big, it's not worth risking the health of those around you, according to Besser.

"If you have a fever or you are just getting over the flu, stay home," he said. "I know it's hard to do when it's an event you've really been waiting for, but it's the right thing to do."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec042012

NC Hospitals Warn Employees to Get a Flu Shot or Get Fired

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With officials at the Centers for Disease Control saying it’s gearing up to be a bad flu season, several North Carolina hospitals are taking no chances and requiring that all employees either get a flu shot or be fired.

This past summer, officials at First Health Moore Regional Hospital adopted a policy that requires all staff who routinely work in patient care areas to be vaccinated annually for influenza.

Officials at the care facilities say the forward-thinking policy was put in place because the common flu may have not-so-common effects on people facing more serious illnesses and whose immune systems are not strong enough to combat the virus.

First Health is just one of several North Carolina medical facilities taking the aggressive preventative approach.

“It’s definitely a national trend,” says Dr. B. Anthony Lindsey, chief medical officer for University of North Carolina Hospitals, where the policy is also in its pilot year.  “Influenza is an extremely contagious disease.  For some of our patients, it could have very serious consequences — including death.”

Most hospitals already require tuberculosis tests and hepatitis shots, but while the flu may be more common than those illnesses, its impact could be just as serious.

“Hospitals require personnel to get tested for tuberculosis so that they don’t spread that disease. The flu shot requirement is no different,” says ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser.

Cone Health Systems, a conglomerate of five North Carolina hospitals, was one of the first hospital groups to put the policy in place three years ago during the H1N1, or “bird flu,” outbreak.  Since that time, two people who work closely with patients have been fired for not taking the vaccine — showing hospitals are not taking chances on patients’ health.

“Our values at this hospital is that we care for our patients, we care for others and we care for our community,” says Dr. Mary Jo Cagle, the executive vice president and chief quality officer for Cone Health.  “It’s not unusual in many venues — in schools, and in many jobs — to have to require vaccinations. ”

There are exceptions, ranging from health to religious reasons, that hospitals take into account.  Employees who fall under those categories are not considered non-compliant.

The policies at these medical facilities come just as the Centers for Disease Control warns of a bad flu season.  CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said Monday that instances of the flu had arrived a full month earlier than normal.

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season,” Frieden said.

Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas have reported enough seasonal flu cases to officially mark the beginning of the flu season.

“We’re seeing the beginning of the uptick start at least a month before we’d generally see it,” Frieden said, explaining that flu rates typically start to rise in early January.

Only 37 percent of Americans eligible for the flu vaccine actually get vaccinated for the virus.

“This is a part of our hospital’s and other hospitals’ nationwide attempt to provide the safest possible care of the patients for whom we’re responsible,” Frieden said. “This is just another part of that effort.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb142012

After Slow Start, Flu Season Has Arrived

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- After a late start, the flu season ball has begun to roll, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said it has been the slowest start to a flu season in three decades, but the first week of February seemed to change that tune. The percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza rose from 7.6 percent two weeks ago to 10.5 percent last week.

“The increases we are seeing in the number of respiratory samples testing positive for flu should forecast increases in other flu activity indicators in the coming weeks,” Lyn Finelli, chief of domestic surveillance for the CDC’s Influenza Division, said in a statement.

Still, most of the country hasn’t seen the flu’s full effects yet. Flu season can start as early as October and can last until May, and the timing of the season is quite unpredictable, according to the report.

The western states have seen a small increase in flu activity, but the Northeast and Midwest are reporting minimal cases of flu. California is the first state to report widespread influenza this season.

ABC News reached out to several experts on influenza. A few reported seeing more types of viral activity aside from influenza, but it is unclear whether this indicates true prevalence;  it might just be more noticeable because there are fewer flu cases this year.

“We have had several other viruses, [including] rhinovirus, coronavirus and metapneumovirus,” said Dr. Daniel Hinthorn of the infectious disease department at University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center. “These can have a cold-like illness with some minor fever and aching but not nearly so bad as influenza. So far, there have been few cases of flu and flu-like illness compared to last year.”

Also, mild weather patterns may be a factor in the mild or late start to the season, experts said.

In New York, Dr. Tracy Zivin-Tutela of the infectious disease department at St. Luke-Roosevelt Hospital said the hospital had seen a bigger surge in gastrointestinal viruses.

Nevertheless, “I would not count the flu out yet for the season,” said Zivin-Tutela. “It is possible we will see a delay in the surge of flu activity due to the mild winter.  We could start to see a spike in March or even later.”

Still, flu season is far from over, and experts continue to implore people to get flu shots if they haven’t already.  On top of that, hand-washing is key to preventing the flu. If you get the flu, be sure to stay home and away from people while sick.

“It is not too late to get a flu shot, and it’s a good idea to get one every year,” said Elizabeth Casman, associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. “Getting vaccinated not only protects you but also protects the people you would have infected if you had not been vaccinated and caught the flu.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan242012

Few Adults in Late 30s Got Flu Shots During Swine Flu Outbreak

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- Flu season may be a few months old, but peak season is yet to come.  And new research has found that a large number of people at risk may still be refusing to protect themselves.

Flu normally hits hardest in January or February, and infectious disease specialists say so far, this season has been very mild.  But there are reports that nine people have died from swine flu this season in Mexico -- where the first swine flu outbreak began back in 2009, ultimately claiming 17,000 lives worldwide.

Despite knowing how potentially deadly swine flu could be, a new report has found that only 20 percent of adults in their late 30s said they got a flu shot during the 2009 outbreak.

In a survey, researchers from the University of Michigan asked approximately 3,000 adults between the ages of 36 and 39 -- members of the age group known as Generation X -- questions about how they responded to the 2009 swine flu pandemic, such as how they kept informed about the illness and whether they got flu shots to protect themselves or their family members.

The researchers have been following this same group of people for 25 years, and every year they survey them about their attitudes and behaviors related to different issues. Their work is known as the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY).

According to the latest results delving into attitudes about the flu vaccine, only one in five adults got a flu shot, but nearly 65 percent said they were moderately concerned about the swine flu, and about 60 percent said they kept informed about it.

"This was the first epidemic that was relevant to this age group," said Jon Miller, director of LSAY at the University of Michigan.  "We were interested in how they used their prior science knowledge and prior education to make sense of this thing."

Adults in this age group, he explained, are very adept at gathering information from a variety of sources, including newspapers, magazines, online and from family, friends, and colleagues.

While they managed to stay abreast of what was happening with the disease outbreak, the majority of them did not get flu shots.  Though, a larger number of the cohort with young children at home did get the flu shot to prevent the swine flu.

"If they had children at home, and about two-thirds of them did, it became more relevant to them to get a flu shot," he said.

Miller added the researchers did not ask the survey participants why they didn't get vaccinated, but he and other experts say a number of factors likely came into play.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec292011

Zoo Gives Gorillas Flu Shots ... and Bananas for Their Trouble

Hemera/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Eighteen-year-old Okie is like many teenagers: He's filling out, he's a bit on the quiet side, and he has a predilection for sweet treats. And like many his age, a seasonal flu shot is highly recommended.

But as any doctor will find, the similarities end at the other end of the needle. Okie is a gorilla.

"They catch colds from us … we catch colds from them," said Shannon Finn, senior zookeeper of Zoo New England's Franklin Park Zoo. "They get miserable just like we do. They feel bad and tired and hot and not hungry ... They get very miserable when they get sick."

Okie is not the only one who is getting a jab this season. Kambiri is a happy, active one-year-old -- but her young age makes her more vulnerable to viruses like the flu. To protect her, a trainer is giving Kambiri her first flu shot.

In total, eight of Zoo New England's gorillas will be getting a flu shot this year, a precaution that the zoo's assistant curator Jeannine Jackle said is as vital to the gorillas' health as it is to humans.

"They're very similar to us physically, so they can catch every disease that we can get," Jackle said. "With a one-year-old, like a human, we're more cautious. We want to get her vaccinated. Also with our 40-year-old, we worry about her too."

Jackle said a gorilla with the flu bears a striking resemblance to humans who are battling the bug, showing symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and lethargy. If one gorilla gets the flu from another ape or a human, the virus can spread quickly to its primate companions.

So since 2005, Zoo New England has been vaccinating all of its gorillas against the flu, using vaccines donated by Children's Hospital Boston. Al Patterson, the director of pharmacy department for the hospital, said the vaccines they give to the zoo are identical to the ones a human would get.

"It's absolutely the same. We're using the human vaccine," Patterson said. "And it's not just the flu vaccine. We do a normal immunization series for baby apes and gorillas and primates," including shots for the measles, mumps and rubella.

The immune systems of gorillas and other great apes are actually quite similar to a human's, said Linda Lowenstine, professor of veterinary pathology at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Previous studies have found virus-fighting antibodies for influenza A in gorillas, a form of the flu that humans catch too. But Lowenstine said scientists aren't sure if the primates are more or less susceptible to the flu than humans.

According to Lowenstine, there were some reports of apes dying in zoos during the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919.

Chasing a gorilla with a syringe of vaccine in hand may seem like a terrifying prospect, but Jackle said the process is pretty simple. Most apes in captivity are trained to present their body parts to trainers when given a special cue. Using this process, trainers can examine a cut, take a temperature, check a heartbeat or even give an ultrasound. This process of gorilla health care is an improvement over how things used to go, Jackle said.

"When I started at the zoo, we used anesthesia to treat a gorilla. We've tried to minimize that," Jackle said. "Now they can do it voluntarily."

To give an injection, a trainer gives a word or hand signal, and the gorilla will put its shoulder up to the mesh barrier. The trainer will show the gorilla the needle, perhaps giving the ape's shoulder a test touch with their finger or a stick. Then, after a quick stick with the needle, the newly vaccinated ape gets an apple or banana as a treat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

Beyond the Flu Shot: Other Ways to Fight Influenza

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With the winter flu season typically peaking in January and February, there's still time to get a flu shot. But there are other ways to lessen the chances of being sidelined from work and play with a high fever, chills, fatigue and body aches.

People talk about colds and flu in the same breath, but once flu gets a foothold in the nose, throat and lungs, it brings a higher level of misery, not to mention mortality.  Flu kills 3,300 to 48,600 Americans every year and leaves more than 200,000 hospitalized with complications like pneumonia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.  Most vulnerable are the elderly or chronically ill, whose immune systems have been worn down, and infants, whose immune systems haven't yet been built up.

Seasonal influenza viruses may change their genetic structure from year to year, but the basic strategy for surviving them doesn't, starting with the flu vaccine that U.S. health officials recommend for everyone older than 6 months.  From there, though, flu avoidance involves committing to a range of mostly simple steps.

The Sunny Solution:
Emerging science about the disease-defeating effects of vitamin D, which we obtain either from sunshine or supplements, suggests that it can create a protective internal barrier between our cells and flu viruses.  Most of the evidence remains suggestive, based on what happens in test-tubes or animals.

Hand Hygiene:
Never underestimate the power of old-fashioned soap and warm water to rinse away flu viruses from hands that touch a myriad of potentially germy surfaces every day.  If you can't find a sink, reach for alcohol-based hand sanitizers, advises Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt, University in Tennessee.

Keep Your Immune System Tuned Up:
Sufficient sleep, regular exercise and eating healthfully can keep your immune system in good working order and ready to stand up to flu.  And research continues to suggest that keeping a lid on stress is essential for a healthy immune system.  That's because chronic stress triggers excess production of cortisol, a hormone that suppresses important infection-fighting cells.

Ease Up On Nose-Blowing:
Blowing your nose hard increases pressure in your sinuses, forcing germ-laden mucus further into your nasal passages, according to University of Virginia researchers. They used CT scans to track what happened when study subjects blew their noses, sneezed and coughed; driving viruses deeper into your sinuses, which could can prolong your misery, Schaffner says.  Consider loosening nasal secretions with a hot, steamy shower, then you can blow your nose with less risk.

The Last Resort -- Antiviral Drugs:
If all else has failed and you feel the flu coming on, call your doctor and ask about a prescription for one of the antiviral drugs, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).  These can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days, according to the CDC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Flu Shots May Build Fewer Antibodies in Kids

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- New research has found the flu vaccine may weaken some children’s immune systems to other influenza viruses. While experts do not recommend halting flu vaccines, they do recommend further research to eradicate adverse side effects, according to a study published in the Journal of Virology.

Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam collected blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children with an average age of 6 years old, and 14 children with cystic fibrosis who received an annual flu shot. Children with chronic illnesses like cystic fibrosis are required to get flu shots in the Netherlands.

Children who were not vaccinated built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains than kids who were vaccinated, the small study found.

“Annual vaccination against influenza is effective but may have potential drawbacks that have previously been underappreciated and that are also a matter of debate,” lead author Rogier Bodewes said in a statement.

While the current vaccine, which has been around for more than 60 years, is not a perfect one, Dr. Andy Pavia, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force, said people should not be discouraged against getting the vaccine from this study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Pregnant women, children under 5, health care workers, those over 50 and people with chronic medical conditions are at especially high risk of flu-related complications, and should receive the shot as soon as it becomes available each year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Friday
Nov182011

Busted: Top 5 Cold and Flu Myths

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- 'Tis the season for colder weather, impending family gatherings, holiday preparations ... and sick days caused by colds and the flu.

Along with flu season comes the age-old bits of wisdom from our grandmothers (and their grandmothers). But research has proven several to be false.

One of the biggest myths is that going out into the cold without a coat or with wet hair will make you sick.

"There are actually some studies on that, and it's not the case," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Nashville. "That doesn't mean we should go out and get cold and wet, because it's very uncomfortable, but we won't get sick from it."

In addition to this widely held belief, here are a few other common cold and flu myths now busted by experts.

1. Flu Shots Can Cause the Flu

"That is the big myth, that no matter how hard we try and put it down, it keeps circulating," said Schaffner. "It's completely untrue."

The flu vaccine, he explained, is made up of only parts of the flu virus, so it's not a whole virus, and as a result, it can't make you sick.

The form of the vaccine that is sprayed into the nose, he added, is a tamed full virus, and you can get some symptoms from it, such as a sore throat or a runny nose that last about a day, but it will not get into the lungs and cause the flu.

Many people who get flu shots later report they get the flu anyway, so they believe the shots don't work.

"The vaccine isn't 100 percent effective, it's only about 50 to 70 percent effective," said Philip Tierno, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center, in New York City. "But it will mollify the virus, and hopefully the person won't have a severe reaction."

If a person who received the vaccine does get the flu, it will be much less serious than if he or she were unvaccinated.

Also, as people get older, Schaffner explained, the vaccine doesn't work as well, but he stressed that they are much less likely to develop pneumonia or be hospitalized for a severe case of the flu.

In other instances, people may get colds or other viruses that can lead to flulike symptoms, but they are not related to the vaccine and are just coincidences.

It's also common to experience reactions to the shot, such as achiness or a low-grade fever, but these symptoms are not a result of having the flu.

Although experts recommend flu shots, they also stress that washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of colds, flu and other illnesses.

2. Younger, Healthier Adults Don't Need Flu Shots

Younger adults who are healthy overall may not believe they need flu shots, that the vaccines are for children and the elderly. Not true, say the experts.

"Influenza is the important winter virus," said Schaffner. "It's the most likely to get you, and it can put a healthy person in the intensive care unit in 48 hours."

Even mild cases of the flu, while they may not be debilitating, can still pose a danger to others. People may not feel sick and may go to work or school, but they can pass on the virus to others.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone older than six months of age be vaccinated.

3. Vitamins and other Herbal Remedies are Cold and Flu Fighters

Despite the belief that vitamin C and echinacea can help the body fight off colds or the flu, data suggest these claims may be a bit overblown. The data are less clear on vitamin C.

Low levels of vitamin C and vitamin D could affect the course of the flu, but making efforts to achieve above-normal levels are probably not helpful.

"You just want to bring those levels back to normal," said Tierno. "Above normal has not been shown to be very effective."

Zicam, a popular over-the-counter zinc-based cold and allergy remedy is also not effective, according to Schaffner.

There is one old, widely used herbal remedy that actually does tame the flu virus -- the star anise plant. Modern medicine has made good use of the plant, Tierno explained. It's one of the main ingredients in Tamiflu, an antiviral medication used as flu therapy.

4. Getting Rid of the Flu Means Antibiotics

Since colds and the flu are caused by viruses and not by bacteria, antibiotics will not be effective against either illness.

Contrary to popular belief, people with flu symptoms should try and see a healthcare provider in order to get antiviral therapy started as soon as possible, especially those who are prone to complications.

While antibiotics will not work against colds or the flu, there are times when providers may prescribe them.

"It's true that there are some people who are in a certain age group, like the elderly, who may get a secondary infection, like pneumonia, so antibiotics may prevent that. There are also people who are prone to sinus infections, so even though the antibiotics will not eradicate the cold virus, they may prevent a secondary infection," said Tierno.

Using antibiotics against virus not only is ineffective, Tierno said, but also contributes to antibiotic resistance.

5. Flu Shot Last Year, Don't Need One This Year

The flu virus changes from year to year, and so does the vaccine. That's why experts recommend getting vaccinated against the virus annually.

This year, however, is a bit unique, explained Tierno, because the strain of virus this year is the same as last year's. This means that this year's flu shot is the same as last year's.

But he recommends that people still get vaccinated.

"There's no guarantee that the flu shot given last year gave people sufficient antibody protection, and this year's shot will boost that protection," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov162011

Does Your Dog Need a Flu Shot?

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dog owners may be vigilant when it comes to protecting their pooches from rabies and heartworm disease, but veterinarians in certain parts of the country are sounding the alarm about canine influenza, which is on the rise in some areas.

There are outbreaks of dog flu right now in the New York metropolitan area and near San Antonio, Texas, and other states have reported epidemics throughout the year. Since the virus, known as H3N8, was first identified in 2004, thousands of dogs in 38 states have become sick with the flu, and veterinarians say that number continues to climb.

"We're seeing an increasing number of dogs being affected by this virus," said Dr. Cynda Crawford, clinical assistant professor in shelter medicine at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Canine influenza is endemic in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado. But like the virus that causes the flu in humans, the dog flu virus is very easily spread and highly contagious.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that dogs that are in frequent contact with other dogs be vaccinated against canine influenza to help prevent the spread.

As with the human form of the illness, dogs that have the flu will experience coughing, nasal discharge, a low-grade fever and sneezing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio