Where Old Epidemics Go To Die
Dog flu is dead! Long live the dog flu! (It sells dog flu vaccine!)
As happens with most infectious diseases, even the epidemic ones that affect large populations, these things come to an end eventually. Dog flu, I predict, is, even as it spreads to several more states, in its death throes. I think it’s unlikely to do in Texas or Indiana or California what it did in Chicago, where some 1700 dogs got the canine flu and 5-6 died.
It’s now in 12 states, as of a recent count a couple of days ago.
And dog flu vaccine gets exactly this much credit: 0. Nada. Zilch.
As it spreads to new areas, the number of positive flu cases is no longer a fireball of runaway proportions. Here’s a great map from Cornell, where the veterinary diagnostic lab, along with Wisconsin’s, has been at the forefront in testing dogs for canine influenza.
You can see where it’s occurred prominently (red states) and where it’s moved (brown states) and the numbers that have been submitted for testing. That number always represents a small percentage of actual cases. As is true in most diseases, the majority never get tested.
More telling is on page two of this document, where you can see quickly the decline in new cases of late:
Dog Flu Vaccination: A Few Vets Get It
You may recall how the seeming consensus among vets and “experts” about the dog flu vaccine working this time around was “uncertainty.” Yet anyone who has read about flu and flu vaccines to any extent knows that this year’s flu vaccine (for humans) rarely protects people.
Because this year’s flu vaccine was made from the “best guess” of strains to use from last year’s flu. And flu changes every year, at least slightly. See reason #7 in this article from VacTruth: “8 Damn Good Reasons Not to Get the Flu Shot.“
New flu virus this year? No protection is likely, as the flu vaccine is made from last year’s flu viruses.
And so it is with canine influenza. The current strain is called H3N2. The canine flu vaccine currently on the market comes from the prominent strain in 2004, called H3N8.
Odds of protection from the current flu vaccine to this year’s dog flu? 0%.
Here’s an article quoting vets who “get it.” in Georgia:
But the most common way to avoid viruses like dog flu – vaccinations – won’t work in this case, officials are now saying.
Still Getting it Wrong (But Profiting Selling Useless Vaccines)
Most vets still cling to “it’s not clear,” or “it’s uncertain” whether the current dog flu vaccine will protect against this dog flu epidemic in our midst. That allows for continued sales of the outdated dog flu vaccine.
A University of Wisconsin expert suggests getting the flu vaccine, yet in the same sentence adds, “despite a very low chance of cross-protection” (i.e. protecting against the current dog flu).
Even more telling is this veterinarian reporting in from Petco (spoiler alert: Petco sells lots of vaccines):
We also do not know if the current vaccine will be effective against the new Asian H3N2 strain.”
We just don’t know, honey. Probably worth a try, though. Pretty nasty flu going around…
The Media Won’t Report The End. Will You Help?
I’m of the strong opinion that this epidemic of canine influenza is about over. Just like the dreaded West Nile Virus from 1999, after it was around for some months, the only evidence that it had affected your horse was a titer in the blood, if you happened to ask for it.
There were the antibodies, showing your horse had adequately responded to the virus. And you never saw a sick horse. Immune systems just “woke up” to the virus being present across wide populations in North America, and mounted immune responses that kept the exposed well.
But the end of an epidemic doesn’t sell newspapers or TV commercials, and certainly not flu vaccine. So, I invite you to report in the comments below if you’ve:
- seen the canine flu or heard about it being in your area
- found some incidence numbers for your area
- had a dog affected yourself
[If that last one is true, or you’re wanting safe, cheap protection, having heard dog flu is in your area, be sure to read this page, telling you the homeopathic remedies that will both treat effectively and prevent the disease.]
Let’s take up the slack for the Lame Stream Media and call it like it is: Dog Flu is Dead.
Or so I think. Your eyes and ears can help me prove it.
p.s. If you missed my earlier articles on canine influenza, here’s the background:
Here are the remedies to protect against and treat this flu:
Here’s the story of my clients’ bringing flu home to their other two dogs (unknowingly), but then finding the remedy that made short work of it:
And finally, the lame job the media did in interviewing me for the TV news: