Can your dog get the flu from you? Scientists from Oregon State University (OSU) say the next time you’re sick, you might want to distance yourself from your beloved pets. Their recent research explored the possibility of human-to-pet flu transmissions and found evidence that the infection of pets from humans – especially during the peak of flu season – is a cause for concern.
While there’s not much information on human-to-pet transmission, also known as “reverse zoonosis,” the scientists and veterinarians at OSU believe that it is necessary to increase awareness and understanding of the possibility of such transmissions.
The team believes that there is a possibility that humans passed on the H1N1 swine flu to some animals, a few of which died due to respiratory complications. The researchers want to identify more cases of human-to-animal transmission of viruses so that they can better understand the risks posed to both humans and pets. The study of human-to-pet transmission could potentially affect the approximately 80 to 100 million households in the U.S. that own pets.