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Reverse zoonosis causes concern
reverse zoonosis concern influenza flu season transmission illness
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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News Shorts
UC Davis Vets to host One Health symposium

The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is set to host the inaugural One Health Symposium on August 24, 2014.

The symposium will address health issues currently affecting much of the world, such as emerging infectious diseases, as well as common health concerns that affect both humans and animals, like diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Karl Jandrey, director of the Centre for Continuing Professional Education, said: "With the recent outbreaks of Ebola and other infectious diseases around the world, it is important that health care professionals gather at events like the One Health Symposium to share thought-provoking ideas that show interplay between all of Earth's inhabitants."

"UC Davis physicians, veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, and stakeholders will all be at this event to discuss and debate many important topics that impact us all. The symposium will be a great showcase of the strengths that we have in One Health at UC Davis in both the School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine."

The event is open to all and webinar access is available for those unable to attend in person. More information and registration for the symposium can be found at www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ce