No Outbreak of Flu in Ohio

tumblr_l5gjgiUq9G1qbwakso1_500   Just got off the phone with Dr. Yan Zhang, the biologist in the State Veterinarian’s office. There is ONE potential case of H3N2 in Ohio and the test has been sent to Cornell and has yet to be confirmed. H3N2 is the “Asian flu” from Chicago that has no vaccine. (There IS a vaccine for H3N8– which has been in the U.S. since 2008— and he noted as an aside that they have seen LESS of H3N8 than they usually do.) Though the risk for exposure in this state is close to nil, out of an abundance of caution, at Fort St. Clair’s shows this year judges will allow exhibitors to show their dogs’ mouth, there will be plenty of hand-sanitizer and wet wipes available. (We are still looking for a portable hand-washing station.) The AKC will allow us to excuse dogs from the show who appear to be ill. It was a great relief to find that there is NO OUTBREAK of this flu in our area. We hope that taking some common sense precautions we can maintain that.

Canine Influenza and Fort St. Clair Kennel Club’s Show

sickdog We know you’re worried. On Monday, we will call the State Veterinarian’s office to see if there are actually any CONFIRMED cases of H3N8 in Ohio. (Media reports are notoriously unreliable– all of the confirmed deaths have been in the Chicago area, and the number of deaths has not increased in the last week.) In any case, we believe that showing a healthy dog at our show presents very little risk.

Still, we don’t want your dogs to get sick at all, let alone on our watch.

So, out of an abundance of caution, we will have hand sanitizer available all over at the site. Please feel free to use it as needed. We are looking into getting a portable hand-washing station for actual hand-washing. (And there are sinks with soap and hot water in the adjacent building.) We have asked the judges to allow you to show THEM your dog’s bite. This is their prerogative of course, but know that we have briefed them on the situation and made the request. Any dog on the premises who appears to be ill (nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, lethargic) will have to leave the fairgrounds. And you can help. Please heed this advice given to us by the state veterinarian the last time there was a viral scare in this area. Stay out of dog parks. Stay clear of “pet areas” at rest stops. Keep immuno-compromised dogs (ill, elderly and puppies) at home. Keep washing your hands! Looking forward to seeing you next weekend.