The third cluster of canine flu in Ontario is a problem. While the first two, in the Windsor-Essex area, were relatively small and have been contained, the recent, ongoing central Ontario cluster is larger and more widespread.
There are over 20 confirmed cases to date. However, it is very likely that the actual number is in excess of 100 at this point. Some infections have been serious.
Cases have been confirmed in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Orillia, Ontario. All known cases have a link (direct or secondary) to a rescue that recently imported dogs from China. While confirmation is not yet available, this is the presumed source because of the epidemiological link and the fact that importation of Asian dogs is still the most likely source of H3N2 canine influenza in Canada at this time.
Grimsby area vets/dog owners take note: It appears that a group of dogs from the implicated shipment from China also went to Grimsby. Veterinarians and dog owners in that area should be aware of the potential risk of influenza.
Click here to read the veterinary disease advisory released by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) on Friday. Or you can read it on the Ontario Animal Health Network webiste.
More updates will follow.