Greyhound virus not linked to humans

BRISBANE Feb 13 2020

Queensland racing authorities have emphasised an outbreak of canine coronavirus in the state's greyhound industry is in no way related to the current 'novel coronavirus' outbreak causing respiratory illness in people.

Veterinarians from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission have tested several greyhounds suffering from gastroenteritis this week.

In a media release, QRIC said all dogs were infected with canine enteric coronavirus with some dogs also testing positive for a mixed or secondary infection with clostridium perfringens.

All dogs were negative for parvovirus.

"Gastroenteritis caused by canine coronavirus is in no way related to the current 'novel coronavirus' outbreak causing respiratory illness in people," the QRIC said.

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said testing confirmed the presence of a current canine coronavirus outbreak in greyhounds in South East Queensland.

"Greyhounds are presenting with mild, transient (2-3 days) lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, associated dehydration and a fever may or may not be present," he said.

"Canine coronavirus is a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting and is highly contagious between dogs. Unlike with parvovirus, the mortality rate is low with canine coronavirus. Puppies are the most susceptible to this disease."

QRIC Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Director Dr Martin Lenz said a vaccine was available.

"The vaccine will aid in the prevention of the disease but does not stop infection or limit shedding of the virus but may be recommended for puppies and breeding kennels," Dr Lenz said.

Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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