CDC says People Shouldn't Worry that Pets Would Spread Viruses

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Health experts say people shouldn't worry that pets can spread swine flu viruses.

A dog in suburban New York has become the first in the nation to confirmed with the same swine flu strain that is infecting humans. The 13-year-old mixed breed male is recovering from the illness. The dog apparently caught the virus from his owner.

An American Veterinary Medical Association spokesman says there's no evidence that the flu strain can be transmitted from a pet to a person.

Dr. Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pets can carry and spread flu viruses, though such cases are rare. She adds that people should not be afraid to enjoy their pets.

The CDC is also reporting this month that swine flu appears to be waning among humans. It said infections were widespread in 25 states, down from 48 in late October.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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