The USDA has approved the first new vaccine to protect dogs from the H3N8 flu virus.
The virus evidently first jumped from horses to dogs about five years ago and is particularly lethal for canines with a pushed-in nose, like a pug. And the researchers who have been working with it say they have no idea how this virus, just like any other, could mutate and evolve.
"I don't think we know what this virus is going to do yet," said Dr. Cynda Crawford, a vet at the University of Florida and one of the researchers who discovered the virus.
Scientists believe the virus circulated in horses for decades before a series of mutations spurred the jump to dogs. Among the canines that are infected, five percent die. And that's a high rate. The deadly 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic killed two percent of its victims.
- read the story from the New York Times