Va. animal shelter suspends intake after illness outbreak

WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County animal shelter is suspending intake of new dogs after an outbreak of an unspecified upper respiratory illness sickened about a dozen dogs.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter says in a news release it is concerned the illness is the canine influenza virus and is working with veterinarians on treatment and containment.

There has been one case of fatal pneumonia.

Test results confirming the cause of illness should be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, the shelter says. Until then, the shelter will not accept new pets.

Canine influenza can spread rapidly though a shelter population, the release says. However, humans cannot contract the virus.

Humans can carry the virus on their hands and clothes which can then be transmitted to pets at home. Dogs are more likely to contract the illness, but cats can become infected, as well.

Sick dogs will be isolated while they are treated. Healthy dogs will continue being adopted out.

Here is more information about Canine Influenza.

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