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Scientists Warn That The Dog Flu Could Be The Next Pandemic

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Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine wrote a study that showcased the dangerous potential that the dog flu could be the next health epidemic. They found several different influenza strands in domestic dogs in China.  ( Pixabay )

A new study has been published that claims that dogs could pass on a deadly illness that might be transformed into a worldwide pandemic.

The Dog Flu Study

The mBio, a journal published by the American Society for Microbiology, released a new study from a research team representing the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Through their research, the group found that domestic dogs might be concealing various viruses. The scientists believe that they could potentially give this virus to humans.

For their study, the research group traveled to southern China and found 16 different strands of influenza viruses. Through their research, they discovered that several strands contained elements of the pandemic H1N1 virus, which was responsible for the significant 2009 swine flu outbreak. The scientists believe that the flu viruses that are dormant in domestic dogs could mutate and jump to human bodies.

China Dogs

When the research team was in the Guangxi region of China, they looked at various dogs whose owners took them to veterinarians in between the years 2013 and 2015. The researchers found that the dogs had elements of two additional flu viruses, the H3N2, and H3N8. They also found the viruses strains on dogs that were kept in kennels and dog farms, where some dogs were being bred for their meat.

Professor Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, the study's principal investigator, revealed that domestic dogs were the perfect breeding ground for the viruses. He also added there might be a possibility to restrict the influenza virus by giving dogs a vaccine in hopes to prevent the dog flu from spreading.

"Vaccinating them is something that's feasible, as well as preventing transmission in overcrowded conditions. We should also be monitoring dogs as potential sources of influenza," said Professor Garcia-Sastre to the Telegraph.

Dog News

United Airlines announced last month that more than 40 breeds of dogs would be banned from flying with the airline starting June 18. Some of the kinds that were prohibited from flying include French bulldogs, the American pit bull, Belgian Malinois, and Boston terriers. The airline also announced that it would be working with American Humane on reviewing its pet policy.

BMJ Journals published a new study from the University of Liverpool that stated that dogs bite emotionally unstable people. Researchers discovered through participant surveys that the people that who scored the lowest on a 10-item personality test, the higher the person had the chance to be bitten by a dog. The survey also revealed that men were twice as likely to be bitten over women.

Tech Times contacted Professor Garcia-Sastre for a comment on this story.

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