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Emergency dogs from other countries can carry diseases, B.C. the doctor is warning

A public health physician in British Columbia says that transmitting infectious diseases from imported dogs to humans is a new problem and both doctors and patients should beware of symptoms.

Dr. Elani Galanis says that in a woman who had a fever, headache and weight loss for two months, she was diagnosed with an infectious disease called brucellosis caught by a dog she saved in Mexico.

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Galanis claims that the case was surprising because the patient was previously healthy, and the infection is usually transmitted only to people with weakened immune systems or very young or older.

Vet Rob Ashburner, spokesman for B.C. a branch of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, says that there is an increased risk of various diseases and parasites from an increasing number of dogs from other countries.

He says the association has been working for years trying to persuade the federal government to introduce stronger rules for imported dogs because certificates presented to Canadian officials at borders are sometimes false and animal controls are not exhaustive.

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The Canadian Public Health Agency states that it recognizes the transmission of diseases from animals, including dogs, is an important issue and plans to cooperate with a national group of veterinary surgeons and the Canadian Food Control Agency, which sets requirements for animals arriving in the country.

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