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A Twitter-based alert system has been arranged to alert both vets and dog owners to cases of canine parvovirus (CPV). In three months, cases have been reported in 61 postcode areas.
The alert system @parvoalert, which has attracted over 1,000 followers so far, has been posting updates on the location of CPV since its launch in November, by retweeting the first half of a postcode where vets and dog owners have reported cases.
So far, reports have been most frequent from north-westerly cities, including Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, however, cases have been reported elsewhere, such as in Hereford, Romford, Sevenoaks and Weston super Mare.
All practices in an affected postcode area are immediately sent a precautionary “Parvo-Alert Pack” which includes waiting room posters, leaflets, stickers and template text for newsletters, to help warn clients and promote awareness.
Once the alert system becomes more established, a comprehensive web-based CPV resource is expected to be built that will feature background information on the prevention and treatment of disease, comment from veterinary experts and downloadable practice support materials.
Simon Boulton, product manager at Virbac (who manufacture a CPV vaccine), commented: “Two things have surprised us since we launched @parvoalert. The first is the sheer volume of cases. The second is their geographic spread. We have received reports of cases all over the country and it is clear that it is by no means confined to the north west not to urban areas.”
“Unfortunately, many owners are still unaware of CPV, but what we have @parvoalert is contributing to a growing understanding of the threat posed by the disease, which still proves fatal in many diagnosed dogs. In creating this understanding we hope we’ll encourage owners to be vigilant and to protect their dogs through vaccination.”
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