A deadly canine flu outbreak is spreading across the Midwest.

The flu has killed six dogs and has sickened at least 1,000 in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

VIDEO: Annoyed Cat Pushes Dog Into Swimming Pool

The Associated Press reports:

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have identified the strain as H3N2. Clinical assistant professor Keith Poulsen says it’s not yet known how effective current vaccines are against this strain, which is believed to have come from Asia.

The virus can cause persistent cough, runny nose and fever in dogs. Experts say a small percentage will develop more severe symptoms. The infection has been associated with some deaths.

Veterinarians say the canine strain is not related to the avian flu and is not contagious to humans.

Dogs with a cough and runny nose should avoid going to dog parks, doggy day care and pet boarding, veterinarians say. 

Before & After Photos Show Dachshund's Amazing Weight Loss

This Miracle Dog Survived Being Hit By a Car, Beaten & Left for Dead

Cat Patiently Waits for Toy, But the Dog Ruins Everything

Heroic Abandoned Dog Leads Humans to 10 Sick, Newborn Puppies

WATCH: Massive St. Bernard Drags Boy By Leash