Influenza poses a perennial threat in part because of its ability to jump from species to species. Birds and pigs have been known to harbor viruses that cross over to humans, and even dogs and cats have carried nonhuman-infecting varieties of influenza. Now, man’s best friend is closer to joining the list of potential vectors, Science News reports. Researchers in southern China found a surprising variety of flu viruses in dogs, including three new variants of influenza A that evolved after being passed on by pigs, researchers reported this week in mBio. The new finding doesn’t mean you’ll have to put a surgical mask on your beagle any time soon, but it does mean scientists are going to be closely monitoring the evolution of canine influenza.
Read our COVID-19 research and news.