5 things to know about dog flu

Published: Thursday, April 16, 2015 @ 7:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 9:31 AM

Dog Flu Fast Facts

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The large outbreak of dog flu in the Midwest has triggered fear among dog owners across the country. Over 2,000 new cases have been reported since March 2015, and several dogs have died. The new strain has been detected in at least 40 states, and as far west as Washignton state.

 

Barkpost breaks down the dog flu outbreak by responding to the most common questions pet owners have.

 

What is dog flu?

 

Dog flu, also known as canine influenza, causes primarily respiratory issues. Symptoms, which may take up to 10 days to appear, include coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy and loss of appetite. Most dogs contract a mild form of the virus and only require supportive care to recover.

 

Is it contagious?

 

Yes, just like with human influenza, dog flu can be spread by close contact. Two particular strains of dog flu are suspected in the Midwest outbreak: H398 and H3N2. The latter, a newer strain, is believed to be responsible for more serious symptoms and even deaths, according to the Associated Press.

 

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Can dog flu be prevented?

 

To reduce your dog’s risk of getting dog flu, consider the dog flu vaccine. It does not eliminate the risk of your dog getting canine influenza entirely, but like with the human flu vaccine, can reduce illness length and severity. Make sure to keep your dog away from other dogs who appear ill and do the same if your dog shows any signs of illness. If there is an outbreak of dog flu in your community, steer clear of public areas like dog parks.

 

How serious is the ongoing dog flu outbreak?

 

It is serious but is being controlled. While the number of 2015 cases is larger than in an average year, there have been relatively few deaths or reports of serious illness. Most of the more serious cases are responding to antibiotic treatment.

 

Can other pets or humans catch the dog flu?

 
Cats and potentially other animals can become infected with the newer strain H3N2. Humans cannot catch dog flu. 

Lawsuit: Woman claims Brazilian butt lift left her paralyzed

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:51 PM

File image of a surgical center.
Pixabay
File image of a surgical center.(Pixabay)

A nurse from Oklahoma is suing a plastic surgery center in Texas and her surgeon after she said a procedure has left her permanently paralyzed.

Rolanda Hutton, 44, went to the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute in January for a Brazilian butt lift, WFAA reported. What was supposed to be an outpatient procedure turned into a nightmare for Hutton.

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When Hutton awakened from the procedure, she couldn't feel her legs or feet. She told staff, but she says they placed her in a post-operative hotel room instead of taking her to the hospital.

The lawsuit alleges that the doctor injected too much fat into her gluteal muscles, which put pressure on her sciatic nerve. Hutton's attorney, Les Weisbord, called Hutton's condition a medical emergency. By the time Hutton was taken to the hospital, it was too late to repair the nerve damage, WFAA reported.

Doctors have told Hutton she'll never walk again.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, is asking for $5 million to cover Hutton’s future care and lost wages.

Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute referred all questions about the lawsuit to its attorney.

Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires’ outbreak

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 2:15 PM

Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Disneyland

Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

A dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered approximately three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed to The Associated Press. All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim and nine had visited Disneyland in September. One patient, who hadn’t visited the park, has died.

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Legionnaires’ can cause severe pneumonia. It is spread by mist from contaminated water. 

Disneyland says it learned about the Legionnaires’ cases in late October and shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that tested for high levels of the bacteria. The towers will reopen once they are no longer contaminated, park officials said.

The health agency told The AP that no new cases have been reported.

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Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

People 2 People July 8 & 9, 2017

According to Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women under 60 years old are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women in the same age group. In fact, data from 2015 showed black women had a 39 percent higher breast cancer death rate.

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New research from Emory University, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute points to differences in health insurance as the culprit.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, included data from the National Cancer Data Base on 563,497 black and white women between the ages of 18 and 64 who had been diagnosed with stage I to stage III breast cancer between 2004 and 2013.

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The researchers examined five factors for the study: 

  • Demographics (age, stage, state, year of diagnosis, etc.)
  • Comorbidities (other health conditions)
  • Insurance (lack of insurance, private insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.)
  • Tumor characteristics (size, type, stage, etc.)
  • Treatment (chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, surgery, etc.)

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The findings

They found that insurance explained one-third of the additional risk of death among the black women compared to white women diagnosed by early-stage breast cancer.

Additionally, almost three times as many black women (22.7 percent) were either uninsured or had Medicaid insurance compared to white women (8.4 percent).

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“Lack of insurance is a barrier to receipt of timely and high-quality treatment and screening services,” study authors wrote.

Other major factors that explained the differences: tumor characteristics (23.2 percent), comorbidities (11.3 percent) and treatment (4.8 percent).

» RELATED: Black moms three times more likely to die in childbirth than white moms

Nearly 80 percent of the women in the study had the most common type of breast cancer (hormone receptor-positive breast cancer) and according to the researchers, when matched for factors such as insurance, comorbidity and others, those factors accounted for a combined 76.3 percent of the total excess risk of death in black patients.

The authors noted that when it came to treatment differences, black and white women contrasted most for hormone therapy, which, according to ACS, is typically used after surgery to help reduce the chance of recurrence.

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“Several studies reported that black women are less likely to complete chemotherapy and hormone therapy,” study author Ahmedin Jemal told the ACS. “This could be for many reasons, including problems with transportation or the inability to pay for medicine.”

Additionally, previous research has shown that black women get lower quality mammograms and are less likely to have a follow-up appointment after receiving abnormal mammograms.

» RELATED: Work the night shift? You may be at higher risk for breast cancer, study says

And insurance is vital for both high-quality cancer care and for early detection.

“We know so much about cancer prevention and control,” Jemal, who is also vice president of the ACS surveillance and health services research program, said. “But we’re not applying it to the whole population equally. We have to make the standard of care available to everyone, including people with low income. And blacks are disproportionately represented in that group.”

Read the full study at ascopubs.org.

Learn more about the study and more about how women can protect themselves from breast cancer at cancer.org.

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Woman made up story about doctors leaving camera inside her after surgery, hospital says

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 5:55 AM

Emory University Hospital. (Credit: John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)
John Spink / jspink@ajc.com
Emory University Hospital. (Credit: John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)(John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)

Earlier this year, a patient at an Atlanta hospital filed a lawsuit claiming that a surgeon left a camera in her body during transplant surgery, a camera that was discovered six months later.

Lacrystal Lockett’s lawyers have now dropped the complaint.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Doctors left camera in woman's body after surgery, lawsuit claims

Emory Hospital attorney Anna Fretwell pointed out an apparent problem with the story: No cameras are used in such surgeries.

“No evidence to substantiate the plaintiff’s claims — medical records, photographs, the alleged camera itself, eyewitness testimony, or any other evidence — ever was produced,” Fretwell said in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Instead, the plaintiff and her lawyers admitted that Emory never left a camera in her body or had to remove one and then dropped the lawsuit.”

>> Read more trending news

Caleb Avraham, who worked with fellow attorney Michael Jo’el Smith for Lockett, didn’t go so far as to say the claim was false.

“I am not Ms. Lockett, so I can’t get into the mind of Ms. Lockett,” he told the AJC. “I know she believes her story. That’s as much as I can say.” 

Attempts to reach Lockett have been unsuccessful.

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Lockett went into surgery on Dec. 17, 2014, for a kidney and pancreatic transplant, according to the suit. Dr. Paul Lu Tso, assisted by doctors Ronald Parsons and Denise J. Lo, performed the procedure.

Lockett’s suit claimed a camera turned up in her torso the following June during an exam at the hospital and required another surgery to remove it.

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Avraham said by the time Lockett came to him and Smith, the statute of limitations was almost up. They had what they believed to be “credible information” — he declined to elaborate — that Lockett’s story was true.

He said they decided to file suit and get more information from the discovery process, as lawyers do in the “pursuit of the truth.”

>> On AJC.com: Many questions after man dies and no one notices

Through discovery and their own investigation, the lawyers decided they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue the case, Avraham said.

Lockett had been asking for a jury to decide what she was owed for the alleged negligence.

Doctors Leave Camera In Woman's Body After Surgery