Bird flu strain may have jumped from cat to human

Bird flu strain may have jumped from cat to human

(HealthDay)—A veterinarian appears to have been infected with a strain of avian flu known as H7N2 that spread among more than 100 cats housed at New York City animal shelters. If confirmed, this would be the first known transmission of this bird flu strain from cat to human, officials said.

New York City health said the vet has recovered from a mild illness, and there's no sign that the flu has spread to shelter workers or those who've adopted cats.

Still, the city's top health official is calling for caution.

"Our investigation confirms that the risk to human health from H7N2 is low, but we are urging New Yorkers who have adopted cats from a shelter or rescue group within the past three weeks to be alert for symptoms in their pets," city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a health department news release.

"We are contacting people who may have been exposed and offering testing as appropriate," she said.

According to officials, the outbreak of H7N2 struck cats that lived at Animal Care Centers of NYC shelters. H7N2 is a subtype of influenza A virus, also known as avian or bird flu.

More than 160 employees and volunteers were tested, and only the veterinanian, who worked with sick cats, appears to have been infected, officials said. The vet's case has yet to be definitively confirmed.

Officials said they've contacted more than 80 percent of people who adopted cats from the animal shelter, and there's no sign that any of these people have been infected.

There have only been two previous documented cases of transmission of the avian flu subtype to humans in the United States, and neither was linked to cats or to other humans, city health officials said.

For now, the city's health department is urging people to avoid close facial contact and nuzzling with ill cats.

One cat diagnosed with the died, while the others are expected to get better. Adoptions of cats have been halted for the time being, and the sick cats will be quarantined.

Officials said no other shelter animals have been infected. For the time being, officials are urging New York City residents to not drop off at the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelters.


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More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about avian flu.

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Dec 26, 2016
Another example of the dangers these artificial animals pose to us. Seriously, what are these little surrogate children good for?

Living in close proximity to domesticated animals has fostered disease which has given us overactive immune systems which in turn plague us with chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease.

Why treat the symptoms when the source is the problem? Wean humanity off pets and livestock. They're just another unfortunate result of overpopulation and the need to produce food at all costs.

Would we need dogs to protect us and our food if others weren't constantly trying to steal it? Would we need mousers if we weren't forced to eat grass and store it by the ton?

And wouldn't everyone be able to have normal families if religions weren't forcing their women to reproduce until it killed them?

Domesticated animals are just another indication of just how sick and unsustainable the human condition is.

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