Following last week's case in Oregon where vets confirmed the first H1N1 transmission between a human and a pet ferret, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has confirmed that a 13-year-old, indoor-only cat in Iowa in fact has swine flu.
While it's uncommon for flu viruses (like the H3N8 for dogs) to jump between species, doctors at Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine performed two sets of tests to find the feline was in fact infected. According to her owners, they had been sick with flu-like symptoms before noticing the cat was ill and, until recently, there was no reason to think cats could catch the 2009 swine flu. Kitty symptoms are primarily respiratory, which includes sneezing and teary eyes, as well as any unusual food refusal.
Get the CDC's tips for interacting with all pets (and people) when you read more.
As with humans, the CDC recommends:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cough or sneeze into elbows.
- Discard any tissues out of reach of cats.
- As hard as this is, be a little less affectionate with your animal (distance-wise) while you're ill.
Source: Flickr User theogeo