A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association. It’s the first time, apparently, that a cat has been diagnosed with the flu strain, raising a new concern: the health of your pet during flu season.
“Indoor pets that live in close proximity to someone who has been sick are at risk and it is wise to monitor their health to ensure they aren’t showing signs of illness,” said Dr. David Schmitt, State Veterinarian for Iowa.
Two of three family members had H1N1; both have recovered. It’s believed the cat caught the flu from the people, not the other way around.
But the cat backlash has begun. In Beijing a university is rounding up homeless cats, according to one report. And a cat shelter was set on fire.
“There is not a single medical expert or research to suggest any connection between the H1N1 virus transmission and cats,” a retired professor is said to have told the Web site.
Until now, that is.