ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
CANCER
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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