First Human Case of H3N8 Reported

May 2, 2022

Those who work in the world of dog care are familiar with H3N8 as one of the virus strains, along with H3N2, that causes canine influenza. It is a relatively new disease to the U.S. that began affecting dogs in 2004. The first case was diagnosed in greyhounds at a racing track in Florida. This H3N8 strain of the virus is believed to be similar to the influenza virus affecting horses (scientists have confirmed the virus mutated to cross species from horses to infect dogs). Within three months of its discovery, cases of H3N8 canine flu and its associated symptoms began sprouting up in various regions. Since then, the H3N8 strain in dogs has been reported throughout most of the U.S. Along with horses and dogs, H3N8 is found in birds (and even seals) but until recently it had not been detected in humans.

On April 5, 2022, China recorded its first H3N8 human infection when a four-year-old boy from Henan province presented with fever and other symptoms. The child reportedly had been in contact with chickens and crows raised at his home. As described in a Reuters news report on the infection: “China’s huge populations of both farmed and wild birds of many species provide an ideal environment for avian viruses to mix and mutate. Some sporadically infect people, usually those who work with poultry.”

In the Guardian’s report on the spread of H3N8 in humans, one expert indicated “there is no reason to think it will go any further,” but others advocated for “increasing influence influenza surveillance globally” as there has been “a number of other new spillover events of influenza from poultry to people over recent years.”

Preventing the spread of H3N8 in dogs

For H3N8 in dogs, vaccines are available for both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains of canine influenza, but many daycare and boarding facilities require only a kennel cough vaccine. Whether or not your facility requires the dog flu vaccine, a disinfection protocol that includes sanitizing the air, as well as surfaces, is crucial. Canine influenza is a highly contagious airborne disease that can spread quickly via aerosolized pathogens. When an infected dog coughs, sneezes, sheds, barks, or pants the virus can be carried through the air where it can remain viable and able to infect for extended periods of time.

Aerapy UV helps eliminate dog flu pathogens in the air and prevent their spread. Our UV technology has been independently tested against the canine influenza H3N8 pathogen and shown to eliminate 99.994% of the virus. Ensuring your animal care facility has adequate airflow and ventilation is also key to a successful air cleaning protocol. Air filters should be appropriate for the facility and changed on a regular schedule.

Aerapy UV for animal care

Aerapy has served the animal care industry since 2008 with science-backed and award-winning UV solutions. Aerapy is your trusted partner for air disinfection. For more information call us at 866-994-2473 or contact us online.

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