This link from NPR news has the best information I've heard about the dog influenza outbreak in Chicago.
To summarize what is currently known about the outbreak:
- It is a new, Asian strain of flu. Most likely it was brought into the Mid West by someone who was attempting to rescue dogs destined to be sold as human food in Korean or Chinese open markets.
- The outbreak accelerated during the Easter Holiday when many dogs were boarded for that holiday. The keeping of many dogs under one roof, breathing the same air made for Ideal conditions for the Virus to spread.
- Cats can get it too
- There is currently no evidence that humans are susceptible to this strain of flu.
- There are no reports...yet... of cases outside of the Chicago area
- There is no vaccine for this strain of flu.
- The best way to protect your dog is to avoid areas where lots of dogs go such as boarding kennels, dog parks, doggie-daycare.
This is a situation in flux and new facts are likely to emerge. We will do our best to post new info as it emerges.
-Mike Bukowski DVM 4/16/2015