ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
CANCER
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
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Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe

(HealthDay News) -- When the news broke on Wednesday that a domestic cat had come down with H1N1 swine flu, probably transmitted to the feline by sick owners, many people no doubt wondered how vulnerable their own pets were to the illness.

So, does Fluffy or Fido need protecting from this strain of flu? The answer, experts say, is basically no.

While the H1N1 flu currently circulating can jump easily from person to person, it does not travel well from humans to animals or animals to humans, except in a few rare instances.

"This really is not a practical issue at this point," said Dr. Chris Olsen, a professor of public health and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. "Is that to say it's not possible? No."

And even when inter-species transmissions do occur, the H1N1 virus seems more likely to move from humans to animals, rather than the other way around.

As reported Wednesday by the Associated Press, veterinarians at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine announced the first laboratory-confirmed case of H1N1 infection in a cat. Veterinarian Dr. Brett Sponseller said two of three people who lived in the house with the 13-year-old feline had shown flu-like symptoms before the animal became ill. The cat was treated and has since recovered, the AP said.

Olsen said there have also been reports of the virus crossing from humans to livestock -- in particular pigs and turkeys and mostly in agricultural settings.

There have been instances "where the current pandemic virus has been isolated from pigs [the first identified at the Minnesota state fair in August], and [some] instances from turkeys. But, in all of those cases, it's quite clear that the person was the source of infection for the animals, not the other way around," Olsen said.

Several cases of pig-to-human and human-to-pig transmission of the seasonal flu have been documented but it's mostly in agricultural settings, added Dr. John Treanor, director of the infectious diseases division at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that it had detected H1N1 in a commercial herd of pigs in Indiana, the AP reported. Again, both the pigs and the humans caring for them recovered from the flu, the news agency said.

According to Olsen, the livestock industry already has elaborate biosecurity precautions in place -- everything from asking about workers' health, to protective clothing, to having employees shower before entering or leaving a facility.

Although it's called the swine flu, the H1N1 virus is no longer really a pig virus. "This has been a human-adapted virus since we first recognized it in the early spring of this year," Olsen said, adding, "You absolutely cannot get it from what you eat."

And dog and cat owners don't need to take any extra precautions when it comes to the H1N1 flu, even though there have been instances of animals contracting, and sometimes even passing on, the regular seasonal flu.

Ferrets, for instance, are generally susceptible to the seasonal flu, and the AP reported Wednesday that H1N1 infection has been confirmed in two ferrets, one in Nebraska and the other in Oregon.

"Not only can they be infected with the flu but they are clearly able to transmit the flu back to people," Treanor said. "This is how flu viruses were first discovered. They [researchers] were looking at what the cause of flu would be, back in England in the 1930s, and noticed when they infected ferrets with material from the flu lab, workers got the flu from the ferrets. That led to the discovery of the influenza as the cause of flu."

Olsen added: "There are also reports of the human influenza virus going from people to dogs but this is, again, a rare occurrence."

Dogs can get something called the canine influenza virus, but that "has adapted itself to dogs and really is a dog pathogen at this point," Olsen said. It originally came from horses and mainly affects canines in an animal shelter.

Similarly, a recently developed dog flu vaccine has nothing to do with H1N1, said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. "It's for a totally separate disease. It's not something people get."

"Our concern is transmission from human-to-human but we do need to protect pigs [and turkeys]," she said.

"Each animal tends to get its own kind of flu," Treanor said.

SOURCES: Chris Olsen, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor, public health, and associate dean, academic affairs, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison; John Treanor, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, infectious diseases division, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Bonnie V. Beaver, D.V.M., professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station; Associated Press