Kennel Cough Outbreak

March 25, 2022

Health officials in Miami-Dade County Florida have raised alarms over highly contagious canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) spreading among dogs in the area. More commonly called kennel cough or canine cough, the upper respiratory infections can be caused by a multitude of bacteria and viruses and can quickly spread among dogs that have gathered in a common areas including pet boarding, doggie daycare, grooming, animal shelters, and veterinary facilities.

What is kennel cough?

Although commonly known as kennel cough, a more accurate term is canine cough or CIRDC as this highly contagious, airborne upper respiratory infection can be contracted virtually anywhere dogs are gathered. It is also known as Bordetella, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Kennel cough in dogs is usually not fatal, but it does cause symptoms that make an infected dog (and their human caregivers) quite miserable. An outbreak of kennel cough can lead to animal care facility closures which is why preventative protocols including having germicidal ultraviolet (UV) equipment in place is crucial to help prevent its spread.

How is kennel cough transmitted?

Kennel cough, as with many other infectious conditions, can be transmitted through multiple routes including contact with contaminated objects (or people) and direct contact with infected dogs, but understanding how the disease spreads primarily through the air via infectious aerosols is crucial for animal care facilities to understand and to take proactive measures for. We have all had a crash course in the aerosolized mode of disease transmission thanks to the human COVID-19 pandemic.

When an infected dog coughs, sneezes, barks, or even sheds dander he releases thousands of microscopic contaminates into the air. The aerosolized bacteria and viruses can remain viable (alive and able to infect) in the air for extended periods of time. These virtually invisible pathogens cling to tiny dust particles, riding on air currents, and traveling throughout the environment until inhaled by another host.

Air disinfection with germicidal UV for kennel cough

Along with rigorous surface cleaning routines, thoroughly disinfecting bowls, toys, kennels, equipment, etc., sanitizing the air is a critical, but often overlooked, line of defense to help prevent the spread of kennel cough. Germicidal UV is used in human settings to prevent the spread of infectious airborne diseases and the same principle applies for animal care.

Germicidal UV for air sanitizing is UV-C. The ultraviolet spectrum has three bands (better known as UV rays):

  • UV-A: causes wrinkling, sagging, and premature aging of skin.
  • UV-B: causes sun burns and skin cancer.
  • UV-C: germicidal and lethal to microorganisms.

Germicidal UV-C is a well-documented and proven means of air disinfection. UV helps eliminate infectious pathogens in the air before they can be inhaled or settle out on surfaces.

Aerapy UV disinfection for the prevention of kennel cough

Since 2008, Aerapy has served the animal care industry with UV equipment that is researched, tested, and study-backed to help prevent the spread of infectious disease in indoor environments. In independent laboratory testing, Aerapy’s UV disinfection technology achieved a greater than 99.9% kill rate against kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica), as well as canine influenza, feline calicivirus, parvo, and more. In a three-year field study at an animal shelter, Aerapy UV reduced upper respiratory infections by 87.1%. We offer a variety of UV products to meet the specific needs of your animal care environment.

UV for HVAC. UV lights are installed within HVAC systems. Air is disinfected as it passes by the UV before circulating back through the space. This UV is also used to remove HVAC unit biofilm and keep coils clean for greater HVAC performance and energy efficiency.

Upper air UV. Upper air (also known as upper room) UV devices are mounted in the upper portion of rooms on walls or ceilings. As airborne—aerosolized—infectious pathogens rise toward the ceiling (think of smoke rising) they can be destroyed with UV-C rays emitted by the mounted unit. When UV devices are properly designed, tested, and installed (as with all Aerapy products) animals and humans can safely occupy the space while the UV is engaged.

UV for mobile service vehicles. Whether you make house calls, grooming calls, rescue calls, or have a mobile adoption vehicle, your mobile service vehicle needs maximum disinfection for the animals and the humans who care for them. Aerapy’s patented DuoGuard UV unit helps guard against the spread of infectious disease in mobile service and transport vehicles two ways: an integrated fan creates powerful airflow for air disinfection during transport and, once unoccupied, the UV device sanitizes surfaces with the push of a button.

For more information on kennel cough, visit our dedicated animal disease page here. To learn more about Aerapy Animal Health UV technology for infection control at your animal care business, contact us for a free UV consultation.

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