Although cats can be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, epidemiologists do not believe they are the primary vectors of the disease.
According to Yonhap News Agency, in July this year, a cat in a shelter in Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea died of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Another cat contracted the disease but survived. South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs tested cat food and found the H5N1 avian influenza strain in two types of cat food used in shelters. The cat food is Balanced Duck and Balanced Chicken, produced at the Gimpo factory in western Seoul. The ministry said the company had not followed necessary disinfection steps since May 25 due to an equipment malfunction. The South Korean government ordered cat food manufacturers to stop producing and selling the product, and to recall and destroy stock. Two cats at another shelter in Yongsan District, Seoul, also contracted bird flu in July. The ministry has confirmed several more cases of bird flu among cats at the two shelters.
No one who had contact with the cats tested positive for avian influenza. Although cats can be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, epidemiologists believe that cats are not important vectors of the disease and do not play a major role in transmission to humans or other animals.
Cats infected with avian influenza
Avian influenza, or avian influenza, spreads naturally among wild waterfowl around the world and can infect poultry and other birds and animals, according to the World Health Organization.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a subtype of this virus. It can cause severe disease and high mortality in poultry and wild birds. The virus could devastate the poultry industry and have economic impacts due to trade restrictions. Some strains, including H5N1, can cross species barriers and cause severe disease in mammals.
In June, the Polish National International Health Regulations Focal Point notified the World Health Organization of unusual cat deaths occurring across the country, suspected to be caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza. As of July 11, 47 samples from 46 cats and one captive feral cat had been analyzed. 25 samples tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza. Fourteen cats were euthanized. Eleven more people died, with the last death reported on June 30. Some cats developed severe symptoms such as respiratory distress, bloody diarrhea, and neurological signs. Some cats rapidly deteriorate and die.
A total of 20 cats had neurological symptoms, 19 cats had respiratory symptoms, and 17 cats had both symptoms. Epidemiologists have not determined the source of the cats’ exposure to the virus.
fountain: pet food industry