A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, state officials confirmed this morning, marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza.
The cat, which has recovered, is believed to have caught the virus from someone in the household who was sick with H1N1. There are no indications that the cat passed the virus on to any other animals or people.
Prior to this diagnosis, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets.
To date, H1N1 influenza virus infection of pigs has been reported in Canada, Argentina, Singapore, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), Ireland, Norway, the U.S. and Japan. It has also been reported in turkeys in Chile and Canada. Based on the evidence available at this time, the infections were spread from humans to the animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are reminding pet owners that some viruses can pass between people and animals, so this was not an altogether unexpected event. Pet owners should monitor their pets' health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness.
The AVMA is actively tracking all instances of H1N1 in animals and posting updates on our Web site at www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/new_virusAbout the AVMAThe AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at
www.avma.org to learn more about veterinary medicine and animal care.