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Reverse zoonosis causes concern
Humans must beware of passing flu on to their pets

The concept of reverse zoonosis, in which humans can pass illness on to their pets, is causing concern with the approach of the influenza (flu) season.

Many people do not realise they can not only pass flu on to other humans when they get sick, but also animals, including dogs, cats and ferrets.

Scientists and vets hope to help prevent reverse zoonosis by raising awareness of the issue.

It is well known that animals such as pigs and birds introduce new strains of flu to humans, such as the most recent H1N1 flu strain, however, it is less known that humans have further passed these on to other animals.

There is currently little known about reverse zoonosis by scientists and vets, however researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and Iowa State University are looking at this type of disease transmission.

"We worry a lot about zoonosis, the transmission of diseases from animals to people," said Christine Loehr, an associate professor at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. "Any time you have infection of a virus into a new species, it's a concern, a black box of uncertainty.

"We don't know for sure what the implications might be, but we do think this deserves more attention."

Professor Loehr advises that people with flu-like symptoms distance themselves from their pets in future.

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'Make time for reflection'

News Story 1
 Management tip of the week: Good managers spend time reflecting on what they have done and how they have handled situations or staff, so they can learn and adapt.

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News Shorts
HealthforAnimals opposes proposals to restrict Ketamine use

Veterinary medicines manufacturer HealthforAnimals has issued a statement on proposals to restrict Ketamine use.

In it they write: "It [Ketamine] is an important part of the veterinarian's toolkit. HealthforAnimals opposes this initiative to restrict its availability as this will severely undermine the ability to provide effective care for animals."

A meeting regarding whether access to Ketamine needs to reassessed will be held by the World Health Organisation later this month.