An unknown deadly contagious canine respiratory illness that broke out in China this summer has now spread to the US.
According to Fox News, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, and clinics in Washington D.C. are experiencing an increase in sick visits, highlighting the potential impact of the unidentified respiratory ailment on a global scale.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is actively reviewing data from China, prompted by the emergence of videos showing groups of individuals undergoing treatment for what has been described as a mystery respiratory illness.
The report said children appear to be predominantly affected by this ailment, adding a layer of complexity to the unfolding situation.
Chinese health officials have insisted that the surge in respiratory illnesses is attributable to the flu and known pathogens. Despite this assertion, the WHO has reported that outside scientists are calling for close monitoring of the situation, expressing reservations about whether the recent spike in respiratory illnesses in China could signal the onset of a new global outbreak.
In response to concerns raised, Chinese health officials informed the WHO on Thursday that they have not detected any “unusual or novel diseases” associated with the rise in respiratory illnesses and pneumonia among children.
The uncertainty surrounding the nature of the illness underscores the importance of vigilance, especially given the historical precedents of undiagnosed clusters leading to the emergence of pandemic-capable viruses such as SARS and COVID-19, both initially reported as unusual forms of pneumonia.
As of Monday the disease had been reported in 14 states stretching from Florida to California and the cause of the mysterious illness remained under investigation, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) President Dr. Rena Carlson said.
In Oregon alone, veterinarians and animal sanctuary owners have reported more than 200 cases since mid-August. The remaining 13 states have not yet reported their respective numbers.
Oregon Department of Agriculture officials are working with state and national diagnostic laboratories “to identify the causative pathogen,” asking veterinarians to report cases to the department as soon as possible, AVMA reported, and advising pet owners to work with a vet if their dog is ill.
In another affected state, the association reported, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences reported, “The possible virus, which is under intense observation by Colorado State University veterinarians, has been linked to cases of severe pneumonia and, tragically, resulted in some fatalities.”