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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 8th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 35 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 35

Warning issued after 10 Santa Maria parvovirus cases

BY FRANK GONZALES

On Oct. 31, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department released a warning about a recent outbreak of parvovirus among Santa Maria area dogs. There were 10 cases in October, with six happening in the last eight days of the month. A majority of the cases originated north of Main Street and west of Broadway Road in the city of Santa Maria.

“We have had 10 cases this month in the Santa Maria shelter, but we haven’t really had cases in the mid-county shelter in Lompoc or in the Santa Barbara shelter,” said Michele Mickiewicz, the Santa Barbara County Health Department’s Public Information Officer. She added that “this is something that we have seen in the Santa Maria area frequently in the fall for the past few years: an increase in the number of cases of dogs in the shelter with parvo.”

The infected dogs were strays the shelter took in. Once they’re captured, Mickiewicz said, “they’re tested as they first come in. There’s no danger for other dogs in the shelter, Mickiewicz said, because the shelter would keep the infected dogs isolated if they were found to have any contagious disease.”

The warning recommends keeping all dogs—but especially puppies—fenced in until they receive their vaccination for the virus. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. The warning lists death if untreated. The virus spreads primarily through contaminated feces, but can also be spread through contact with contaminated hands, soil, clothing, food, water dishes, toys, and bedding.

In the event of infection, owners should seek treatment for their dog from a veterinarian and keep the infected dog isolated from other dogs for a month. The virus isn’t transmissible to humans.