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Official: More Than 100 Dogs Sick From Canine Flu In Chicago Area

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The canine flu is shutting down shelters and sending dogs into quarantine in the Chicago area.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez reports.

David Dinger, vice president of operations at The Anti-Cruelty Society, said the intensity of dog influenza this year is catching his organization's attention.

"A single dog in a room, within say 48 hours, we have a room full of sick dogs," he said.

The dogs are infectious for up to 28 days. There are 80 sick canines at The Anti-Cruelty Society, where the dog shelter is temporarily closed and is costing thousands in lost adoptions.

According to Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, 11 dogs died from dog flu in 2015 and more than 1,000 got sick. Last year, about 700 were infected. In 2017, there are already 100 sick canines and the number is expected to trend down even more.

"More and more people heeded our request to make sure that their animals are vaccinated," said Dr. Donna Alexander of the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control.

Vaccination is the best defense. Walking dogs on a leash and avoiding social settings can help too.

Some dog owners, including Anita Lindroth, think they're prepared.

"My dog has health insurance. His health insurance is better than mine. So, I'm ready," she said.

Local veterinarians have not reported many cases of canine flu yet. Health officials hope by warning the public that they can keep it that way.

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