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Hundreds Of Dogs Sickened By A Flu Strain In Midwest

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The flu virus has affected hundreds of dogs in the Midwest.

Animal health experts say a canine influenza virus has sickened hundreds of dogs in several Midwestern states, including Ohio.

The University of Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine says the virus has affected at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Recent tests from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have identified the strain as H3N2. Clinical assistant professor Keith Poulsen says it's not yet known how effective current vaccines are against this strain, which is believed to have come from Asia.

The virus can cause persistent cough, runny nose and fever in dogs. Experts say a small percentage will develop more severe symptoms. The infection has been associated with some deaths.

Veterinarians say the canine strain is not related to the avian flu and is not contagious to humans.