Dr Ruben Donis of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a report in the journal science about the emergence of a new
unprecedented dog virus that has killed several greyhounds. The virus has seemingly jumped from Horses to dogs and while it may be dangerous to
animals so far there is no danger to humans from the virus. The original virus H3N8, equine virus has been in horses for many years without any
documentation of it crossing to humans.
And the virus can also infect dogs without making them sick, meaning it is not as deadly as some reports have suggested, they said.
But studying it has important implications for understanding the H5N1 avian flu virus now devastating flocks of poultry and which has killed 65 people
in four Asian nations since late 2003.
The new dog virus is an influenza A virus called H3N8, a designation that describes two important proteins in the virus.
Dr. Cynda Crawford of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine first discovered the virus in greyhounds. It looked deadly at first.
Donis said very few changes in the virus, in just a few of the amino acid building blocks of proteins, seemed to have allowed it to jump species
from horses to dogs.
This was an "an unprecedented interspecies transfer", he said -- and would have implications for understanding the potential of H5N1 to begin
infecting people easily.
"Evidence of canine influenza infection in pet dogs, a primary companion animal for humans, raises the possibility that dogs may provide a new source
for transmission of novel influenza A viruses to humans," they wrote in the Science report.
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Is this part of H5N1- avian flu - animal flu (general edition) ? Is this new dog virus and the Chinese pig virus all part of the same greater
It just seems very strange that in a period of ten years we have the emergence of RNA respiratory viruses like The Avian Flu Virus, that also jumped
to pigs, tigers, cats and other mammals, The Horse Virus while 40 years old has now jumped to being also a Dog Virus, The pig Virus and more? Is it
co-incidental or is there something more sinister afoot?
[edit on 28-9-2005 by Mayet]