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Dog flu increases in Midwest, sickening canines

Published: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 @ 7:01 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 @ 7:01 AM
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Flu season for humans is at its end, but for dogs in the Midwest, it may be just beginning. 

According to CBS News, more than 1,000 cases of canine infectious disease has been reported in the Chicago area.  Five dogs have died so far.

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One veterinarian told WBBM that it is almost an epidemic, the worst outbreak he has seen in his 35 years of practice.

The Chicago Veterinary Emergency Center was seeing 15 cases of canine flu a day.

The disease presents as a cough, runny nose and fever WBBM reported, but CBS reported that humans can not get the illness from their pets despite it being contagious between dogs in close contact with each other.

A simple, $100 vaccine each year is highly effective to prevent the illness.  Treating the flu if a dog contracts it can cost thousands if the animal needs to be hospitalized in isolation, CBS reported.

The illness seems to be isolated to Chicago, but it has been seen in Northwest Indiana, but they had a connection to Illinois, WTHR reported.