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‘CANINE CORONAVIRUS’ behind outbreak of kennel cough in Canada, veterinarians say

A new “canine coronavirus” has been determined to be the culprit behind the outbreak, the national medical director for VCA Animal Hospitals, Danny Joffe, said.

The outbreak has already affected Calgary and Edmonton, with multiple new cases reported daily. Urban coyotes, roaming the same parks as pet dogs are believed to have contributed to the outbreak, according to Joffe.

Kennel cough is a generic term for upper respiratory infections affecting dogs, that can be caused by various pathogens, both viral and bacterial. The disease group bears its name due its ability to rapidly spread among dogs kept in close quarters in kennels or animal shelters.

While affecting dogs, the new coronavirus appears to be not transmittable to humans. The disease has nothing to do with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, apart from the virus having a similar shape, Joffe stressed.

“Now, it’s totally different than COVID-19. They’re both coronaviruses, but this can’t go to people, it’s a respiratory infection in dogs,” the veterinarian told the Global News.

Covid-19, that has infected more than 88.1 million people, while killing nearly 1.9 million, has so far, largely spared pets. A handful of transmission – from humans to pet animals – have been reported worldwide, yet it has not been positively established whether pets are capable of spreading the virus back to humans.

It’s thought that minks have not only contracted the virus from people but transmitted a mutated variant back to humans. Outbreaks of coronavirus have been reported in multiple mink farms worldwide over the past few months. The virus has ultimately led to extermination of the entire mink population in Denmark, where 15 to 17 million were killed after a Covid-19 outbreak in the country’s farms had got out of hand.

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