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Humans aren't the only ones at risk for contracting the flu this season: our furry friends can fall ill from the disease as well. In fact, flu infections in cats and dogs may be much more common than thought, experts say. And pets can catch the flu from their owners, research finds.
One study of cat blood samples found about 30 percent of cats in Ohio had been infected with seasonal flu, and 20 percent had been infected with the H1N1 flu strain that caused the 2009 pandemic. Studies also suggest there has been an increase in cat flu infections since 2009.
Researchers have known since the 1970s that cats can get the flu, and since 2000 that dogs could get it, but detailed reports of such cases have been rare, said Christiane Loehr, an associate professor at Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
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