LOWELL, Mass. (AP) -- Lowell’s animal control officer is urging all dog owners make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date after an outbreak of a highly contagious disease has killed at least 15 dogs in the city.

Animal Control Officer Darlene Wood says there have been 15 confirmed cases of the parvovirus over the past two weeks, and in every case, the animal has died.

Parvovirus can cause intense defecation and vomiting, and Wood said the disease is transmitted when healthy dogs come into contact with the feces or vomit of an infected dog.

She says the disease can survive for months in the environment and is resistant to many disinfectants.

There is a vaccine available and she encourages all dog owners to get it for their pets.


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