Quarantine authorities have launched an epidemiological probe, as antibody against avian influenza virus has been discovered in a dog, a mammal. The authorities suspect it is the first case suggesting that the AI virus could transmit between different species, from the bird to the dog.
According to the South Chungcheong provincial government and the Food, Agriculture and Forestry Ministry on Friday, an examination of specimens from three dogs at a chicken farm in Cheonan last Thursday, isolated H5 type antibody from one of the dogs. The farm had AI outbreak in February.
The fact that antibody has been isolated in the dog means that the AI virus penetrated into its body. The avian influenza virus H5N8, which occurred in Korea this past winter, previously had no reported case of transmission to mammals. To inspect the risk of the virus infection in humans, the authorities have started a thorough analysis after collecting specimen from people working at the farm.
A source at the ministry said, Even though antibody has been found in the dog, strictly speaking, it cannot be considered infection, because it did not entail any symptoms, adding, Past experiment showed that there is very little chance that the virus can transmit from the dog to the human.