H1N1 and Pets

Featured Article — By on November 27, 2009 at 6:34 am

H1N1 (Swine) Flu Confirmed in Iowa Cat.

The question has been circulating for months, can dogs and cats catch the H1N1 flu? While no one could say for sure, infectious disease experts felt that dogs and cats were not as susceptible as humans, pigs, and then later turkeys and ferrets.
Today, the answer is different
It has been confirmed that a cat has caught the H1N1 virus from humans. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that a cat became ill with H1N1 virus after 3 members of the family became ill with influenza-like symptoms on November 4, 2009.
“[A] 13-year-old indoor cat in Iowa was brought to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where it tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The diagnosis is the culmination of collaborative efforts between IDPH, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Advanced Host Defenses, Immunobiotics and Translational Comparative Medicine, USDA, and IDALS Animal Industry Bureau.”
Staying Calm
It is important not to panic. Cats, ferrets, pigs and turkeys have caught this virus from people, not the other way around.
Staying Healthy
The precautionary message is the same for pets and people: wash hands, use proper sanitation, isolate sick individuals from healthy ones, and see your doctor or veterinarian if you or your pets are ill.
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