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UW researchers confirm canine influenza can be transmitted to cats

MADISON, Wis. - University of Wisconsin researchers said the strain of canine influenza that sickened a large number of dogs in the Midwest last year has now infected a group of cats in the region.

Sandra Newbury, a clinical assistant professor and director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, tested multiple cats at an animal shelter in northwest Indiana, according to the release. The cats tested positive for the H3N2 canine influenza virus.

"Suspicions of an outbreak in the cats were initially raised when a group of them displayed unusual signs of respiratory disease," Newbury said in the release. "While this first confirmed report of multiple cats testing positive for canine influenza in the U.S. shows the virus can affect cats, we hope that infections and illness in felines will continue to be quite rare."


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