Monday, September 21, 2009

Can My Cat Get Swine Flu



You would think the title would have the answer: My cat is not a pig! But as a human, I could get swine flu, so it got me thinking.....

Could my cats get swine flu? I did a little research on the internet and found a press release at ASPCA.org (site is now gone). As of April, only humans had been affected by the H1N1 virus. "At this time there is no data demonstrating any risk of dogs and cats contracting this strain of the virus," said Dr. Louise Murray, the Director of Medicine at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital in New York City. Most of the information I found referenced this article.

Near the bottom of the press release, there was a link to the American Veterinary Medical Association. I followed the link to see if they had more recent information. As of today, there is still no evidence that pets are susceptible to the H1N1 virus.

UPDATE: November 4, 2009. The American Veterinary Medical Association posted that the Iowa State Veterinarian and the Iowa Department of Public Health announced that a cat has tested positive for the H1N1 virus. It is believed to be the first confirmed case of swine flu in a feline. Two humans in the cat's house had flu-like symptoms before the cat became ill. The cat recovered.


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