An outbreak of a contagious and often fatal disease found in canines called parvovirus, has been confirmed to be present at the Occupy SF encampment at Justin Herman Plaza.
The San Francisco SPCA and the city’s Department of Animal Care and Control teamed up for a clinic at the Occupy SF camp on Monday to test and diagnose dogs for various diseases and infections.
Two dogs tested positive for parvovirus at the Occupy SF camp during the clinic, Rebecca Katz director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control said.
According to the Center for Disease Control website, parvovirus cannot infect humans and pets can be immunized against it.
The infection and spread of the disease may be a result of individuals who are not getting the necessary vaccines for their dogs. To avoid contracting parvovirus, dogs should receive a vaccination as puppies and continue to get annual booster shots. Parvovirus can spread rampantly between unvaccinated dogs, Katz said.
In addition to the outbreak of parvovirus, a flea infestation and cases of the contagious respiratory disease, kennel cough, have been reported among animals in the camp at Justin Herman Plaza over the last few weeks, Katz said.
“There are an increasing number of dogs and cats at the Occupy SF site. There is a major flea infestation among animals, bedding and people,” Katz said.
Monday’s clinic provided antibiotics and flea collars, as well as free parvovirus testing for all dogs that may have been affected.
The San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control is urging protesters not to bring their pets to the Occupy SF camp, Katz said.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News