“This may be the first instance where we have documentation that transmission occurred involving cats or dogs,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told the Associated Press.
The cat’s symptoms included:
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
Though influenza is known to cross species, we’ve seen that less with this strain, though it’s been confirmed in birds and ferrets. In fact, many veterinarians have been telling clients that transmission from humans to cats and dogs or vice versa is beyond unlikely. This cat changes that.
To protect your pets, experts suggest taking the same precautions you would to prevent spreading the flu to other people, including getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, keeping some distance and washing your hands.
PRESS RELEASE from
The American Veterinary Medical Association
H1N1 flu confirmed in Iowa cat
- A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, state officials confirmed this morning, marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza.
The cat, which has recovered, is believed to have caught the virus from someone in the household who was sick with H1N1. There are no indications that the cat passed the virus on to any other animals or people.
Prior to this diagnosis, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are reminding pet owners that some viruses can pass between people and animals, so this was not an altogether unexpected event. Pet owners should monitor their pets’ health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness.
The AVMA is actively tracking all instances of H1N1 in animals and posting updates on the AVMA Web site.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations assistant, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or msanfilippo AT avma.org.