H1N1 Influenza Update
Iowa officials confirmed on November 4 that a cat tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. This is the first time the strain was diagnosed in a cat. Since this diagnosis, two additional cats have been diagnosed. H1N1 has been found in humans, cats (including a cheetah), pigs, birds, and ferrets. The virus appears to have been transmitted from the owners to the cat. Two of the three members of the family that live with the pet had suffered from influenza-like illness before the cat became ill. At this time, there has not been a case of H1N1 transmitted from a pet to a human. Fortunately, the family members and the cat made a full recovery.
This was not the only recent H1N1 first. On October 19, the USDA's laboratory confirmed the presence of the virus in a pig sample collected at the Minnesota State Fair, the first confirmed case in the U.S. swine population.
Additionally, a ferret in Oregon tested positive for H1N1 on October 9. The ferret had been taken to a veterinary hospital after showing weakness followed by sneezing, coughing and fever. This client and her children had flu symptoms as well. In this case the owner is believed to have transmitted the virus to the ferret.