New strain of canine distemper virus arrives in North America

I found this article on the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine web site. I doubt anyone in the club is currently affected. However, I thought it might be a good idea to post a link to the article that you can pass on to friends and family.  This has potential to be quite devastating, especially in the wild.

New strain of canine distemper virus arrives in North America

A young dog imported from South Korea into Western Canada last fall brought along a dangerous hitchhiker: the Asia-1 strain of canine distemper virus (CDV), which had never before been reported in North America.

Scientists at Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) identified the virus in samples from the dog, which they suspect was part of a shipment of animals rescued from a Korean meat market by an animal welfare organization. Dogs that are already immunized against CDV likely are not at risk from the Asian strain. But if the virus comes into contact with wildlife, it may take a serious toll on wild carnivore populations.

“Well-meaning people are trying to save animals, but when you move animals, you move their infectious disease,” said Dr. Edward Dubovi, director of the virology laboratory at the AHDC and a professor of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. “If this particular Asia-1 strain got out into the wildlife population, then it’s here forever, because you can’t get rid of it once it hits wildlife.”

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