Epidemiology 101: Isolate the disease
Spindel says dog movement within LHS stopped with the outbreak. "Any new dog coming into the shelter came in through a clean
area and was handled by clean staff," she says. "This allowed a clear picture of the epidemiology of influenza in our building.
We continued this process for a full two weeks from the time the last known exposure occurred, well over the infectious period
of influenza. Although regular cleaning and vaccination protocols were in place, quarantine rules were established with footbaths
outside each room, and protective clothing and boots in each dog room."
Additional biosecurity protocols for any facility could include:
- Staff member room assignments to limit transmission.
- Reduced traffic in infected areas.
- Five-day quarantines for new intakes.
- Staff education of fomites control via foot baths.
"The reality is that influenza is likely present in our community, and cases may continue on a low level for some time in
Colorado shelters," Spindel says. "This is a problem that is of epidemic caliber for facilities that have new dogs entering
on a daily basis.
- Hurricane Katrina dogs infected with canine influenza virus at the Delaware Humane Association had much higher antibody titers
compared to other dogs infected at the shelter, a fact being investigated by Dr. Cynda Crawford, University of Florida, College
of Veterinary Medicine.
- The virus has been confirmed in Hawaii. Bans recently were lifted on animals entering the islands before a quarantine period
to discount rabies. Therefore, dogs with canine influenza virus have crossed the state.
Of the states testing positive for canine influenza out of 100-plus submitted samples:
- 21 percent positive in Florida
- 21 percent positive in New York
- 27 percent positive in Connecticut
- 56 percent positive in Colorado
- 43 percent positive in Wyoming
— Source: Dr. Cynda Crawford, University of Florida