ST. PAUL (WJON News) - Animal shelters in Hennepin, Anoka, and Washington Counties have been quarantined today to stop the spread of canine influenza. The Minnesota Department of Animal Health has quarantined the shelters after officials reported more than 200 cases of the extremely infectious disease in dogs.

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Senior Veterinarian in charge of companion animals, Dr. Veronica Bartsch, explained the reasons behind the move.

There is an approved vaccine for canine influenza, and we've advised the organization to vaccinate all dogs in their care. The quarantine is crucial to stop the spread of the virus and monitor and treat the exposed dogs.

Signs of canine influenza include sneezing, coughing, and discharge in the eyes and nose. The disease is a low risk of transfer to humans, but anyone concerned about their pet should contact a veterinarian if they see symptoms. The results are not final, additional testing is underway, but the animals will remain quarantined for six weeks.

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