A case of canine swine flu

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© Push Pictures/Corbis

A dog from the New York City suburb of White Plains is the first in the nation to have a case of H1N1 flu, according to the Associated Press. The 13-year-old male mixed breed, who is now recovering, was taken to a veterinary hospital in Bedford Hills, New York, after showing signs of breathing problems. The dog supposedly caught the flu from his owner, though health officials say that, while it’s possible—and previously cats and ferrets have caught the virus from humans—there is no broader trend of transmission from humans to dogs. Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, told the AP: “In theory it could happen, but so far it’s really looking like a dead end in pets.”

Meanwhile, swine flu cases among humans appear to be on the decline. While, in October, 48 states reported high levels of swine flu cases, that was down to 25 states as of early December, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Still, public health officials remain wary—and poised—for the possibility of a second wave of the flu. According to recent CDC estimates, from April to November of this year an estimated 10,000 Americans have died from H1N1 flu, and 50 million have been infected with the virus. Of those, some 200,000 became ill enough to require hospitalization.

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