November 30, 2009

Dogs Test Positive For H1N1 In China

China's Ministry of Agriculture has called for intensified monitoring and investigation of A/H1N1 flu in animals after two samples from sick dogs tested positive for the virus, according to a recent AFP report.

The veterinary clinic of College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University reported Wednesday that two out of 52 samples from sick dogs tested positive for A/H1N1 flu virus, the ministry said late Friday.

The news comes 10 days after four pigs in China's Heilongjiang province were diagnosed with the virus, which specialists said might have been caught from humans.

Countries including the U.S., Canada and Chile have already reported cases of animals testing positive for the virus.

An Iowa state cat was diagnosed with H1N1 at the beginning of the month, being the first known case in the world of the strain spreading to the feline population.

WHO has called for closer monitoring of farm workers and animals for influenza A viruses.

Citing an official at the Beijing municipal agriculture bureau, the report said the dogs probably contracted the virus from human sufferers who were in close contact with the canines.

An unidentified official said, "Dogs can infect nearby dogs after they catch A(H1N1) flu."

The agriculture ministry and the Beijing agriculture bureau were not immediately available for comment.


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