ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
EPA Alerts Seniors to Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
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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