Dogs May Spread Future Influenza Pandemic
A new study warns of new interactions between influenzas present in canines.
A new study suggests that dogs could be a potential host for a future influenza pandemic, according to the American Society for Microbiology.
The study, published in mBio, warns that it is possible for influenza to travel from pigs to dogs, and that the variety of strains present in dogs is increasing. In previous modeling of potential pandemics, scientists have generally postulated that the influenza would jump from bird to pig to human beings. But adding dog as an intermediary between pig and human would be a troublesome development given the domestic pets’ ubiquitous presence among people. According to the study, the increasing interaction between different influenza in dogs is “very reminiscent of what happened in swine ten years before the H1N1 pandemic.”
Of course, there’s still a lot scientists don’t know. Future studies are needed to predict whether humans are already immune to canine H1N1.
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