SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials are warning dog owners in Montgomery County to watch out for canine influenza after the deaths of two dogs.

The Department of Agriculture alerted veterinarians that the illness was identified in six dogs in Montgomery County last week and two of the sick dogs have died. Officials say the virus can cause an acute respiratory infection and is highly contagious.

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Montgomery Parks officials are warning dog owners to contact their veterinarians if they notice symptoms including cough, runny nose and fever.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dog flu can be spread by direct contact with infected dogs, contaminated objects and through people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

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