A cat contracts H1N1!!!

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Gingareeree, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    I heard this on the news this morning.Apparently a cat has contracted the swine flu,he,along with the humans in the household have all had the flu but are now recovering ...this is not a joke,but "Who woulda thunk it ???"~~Jeanne
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    And just two weeks ago I asked the vets if cats could contract the H1N1 from humans and was told no, and there's never been a case of it.
  3. kjade

    kjade New Member

    I heard about this today. What I don't understand is on the news report I heard, the woman said people cannot catch H1N1 from cats.....so how did the cat catch it from humans? And didn't the virus originally come from pigs?
    There is so much confusion surrounding H1N1. It seems I am always hearing conflicting stories about it.
    I did hear that the couple and the cat are better now though. So that is good.
  4. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Yes, a baby pig at a state fair and a cat both had H1N1 (swine flu) and both caught it from humans. Humans now can't get it from them, but they can get it from humans. Below is an article that may help explain.


    QUESTION: What caused the 2009 swine flu?

    ANSWER: It was caused by a particular strain of the influenza virus, just like any other flu. This particular strain A-H1N1/09 (aka: Influenza A, Novel H1N1 or 2009 Swine Flu virus) originated in pigs (swine) but has changed itself to be infective to humans.

    Swine flu is a virus that originally infected only pigs and they spread it from one infected hog to other hogs the same way it spreads in people, by direct contact or by droplets holding the virus in the air after a pig coughed or sneezed. Because pigs are physiologically very similar to humans, when they have been living closely with humans, some microbes that can infect them are able to be changed or mutated into strains that people can catch. These types of diseases that we can get from animals are called zoonotic diseases.

    Pigs contract swine flu from other infected swine, particularly in pigpens and herding areas. Flu viruses from birds and people may also infect pigs. Swine influenza passes quickly among pigs, and can cause major losses for pig farmers because of the rate of illness. It is now also possible for infected people to pass swine flu back to other pigs.

    Usually viruses that infect one kind of animal do not often infect others. However, if the animals are kept very closely together, it is more likely that mutations can occur that allow new strains to develop with the ability to cross from one type of animal to another. Viruses can mutate very rapidly. Since they are non-living microscopic organisms (microbes), and not actually living organisms (like bacteria and microscopic fungi),they can combine with the cells of host animals and change the genetic material in those host cells to reproduce themselves. Sometimes that assimilation can also change the makeup to a new strain of virus (sub-microscopic particle microbe) which is then replicated by the damaged cells as well.

    This cross-family type of mutation (reassortant) of viruses has happened in the past when pigs and ducks or other birds were kept very closely together. That is how the Avian (bird) flu became a problem for people. First bird flu was mutated to a strain that could be caught by the pigs they were closely around. Once infecting the pigs, other mutations occurred that allowed their bird flu-swine viruses to mutate to viruses that people who were in close contact with pigs could catch. The "cross-contamination", through mutations of the viruses infecting the physiologically similar pigs, allows new strains to develop to which people have no immunity passed down from generation to generation or prior exposure.

    It is considered potentially more dangerous than other types of influenza because the human population has not experienced this particular kind of Swine flu before. Therefore, it is anticipated that there will be few people with any natural resistance to it, whereas most people have some resistance to other strains of influenza. As a result of the lack of resistance, it can spread more easily and perhaps produce more severe symptoms.

    The 2009 Swine Flu is doubly difficult for us to create effective vaccines (which would help to teach our immune systems how to fight the virus). This is because the new strain of virus mutated within the pigs where it could merge genetic materials of the bird viruses and swine viruses that the pigs had been exposed to and become infective to humans from that close contact as well (triple reassortant). The 2009 Swine Flu virus A-H1N1/09 contains genetic material that is from the bird flu as well as from two swine flu virus strains (Asian and European) and human flu virus ("quadruple reassortant"). We would have an easier time developing our vaccine for this flu virus if it had been formed from one or the other, and not with the four types of genetic material. As it is, we must start more "from scratch".

    The whole process of infections can also work back the other way. So now we can get swine flu from each other, from infected pigs, and we can give it to pigs who can infect each other. Because aspects of human viral strains are incorporated into the animal viral strains using the pig as a "middle man", newer viruses are developed that are able to cross the animal family boundaries.

    Crowding, of people with each other and with pigs, and pigs with each other and with other animals, is one of the major reasons these "reassortant" viruses can occur.

    Farmers who work with swine must use very clean techniques to avoid catching and transmitting the swine flu. The CDC has guidelines for people who work in this field or spend time around hogs. See the links below. As with any virus, very good hygiene, including thorough hand washing, is critical after contact or close proximity.
    FROM: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_caused_the_2009_swine_flu
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Cat Gets H1N1 Swine Flu
    Iowa Cat Got Pandemic Flu Bug From Owners
    By Daniel J. DeNoon
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Nov. 5, 2009 - A sick Iowa pet is the latest evidence that cats can carry the H1N1 swine flu virus.

    The pandemic flu bug was detected in a sick, 13-year-old Iowa cat after two members of the family that owns the cat fell ill, the Iowa Department of Health reported yesterday.

    The cat -- and both humans -- recovered from their illnesses.

    "It's not unexpected news ... we know that influenza viruses can be transmitted between humans and animals," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner tells WebMD.

    The Iowa cat was taken to the veterinary college at Iowa State University, where tests of a nasal swab confirmed the cat was infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus.

    "Just because the virus was found in a sick cat doesn't mean the virus was the cause of the cat's illness," Atlanta veterinarian Megan Hilf, VMD, tells WebMD.

    Even so, the CDC warns people with flu-like symptoms to avoid giving the virus to their best friends.

    "If people are sick and have pets and they are concerned, then we suggest they follow the same steps we tell them to follow when it comes to preventing spread to other humans: Cover coughs and sneezes, frequently wash your hands, and try to distance yourself from your pet until you have been without fever for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medicine," Skinner says.

    Can cats carry H1N1 swine flu and transmit it to people or to other pets? Maybe, says Drew Weigner, DVM, a feline specialist in Atlanta.

    "There is currently no evidence that cats can transmit H1N1 to people," Weigner tells WebMD. "While there is currently no evidence that cats can transmit H1N1 to cats or other pets, it would not be surprising to find transmission from one cat to another -- but this is not yet known to have occurred."

    Cats do readily become infected with another worrisome flu bug -- the deadly H5N1 bird flu. Fortunately, that killer virus has not become widespread in either cats or humans. And the H5N1 virus is very different from the H1N1 swine flu virus.

    In fact, Weigner says, cats rarely get infected with any kind of flu virus.

    "What is often referred to as 'cat flu' is actually a syndrome describing an upper respiratory infection with several different viruses such as herpesvirus and calicivirus," he says.

    A 2007 study of blood samples collected from 1999 to 2005 from 60 domestic and 51 free-roaming cats in and around Milan, Italy, showed no indication that any of the animals had ever been infected with any flu virus.

    But if a cat does get a human flu bug, what symptoms would it have?

    "Since only one cat has been confirmed to be infected with H1N1, it remains to be seen how this virus affects cats," Weigner says. "One would expect infected cats to have a fever and upper respiratory symptoms including sneezing and eye or nasal discharge. The most important point is that any cat exhibiting signs of illness should be examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible."

    Weigner and Skinner note that other animals have picked up H1N1 swine flu from humans, including pigs, birds, and ferrets. H1N1 swine flu is a human virus not known to be circulating in pigs.

    The diagnosis of swine flu infection in the Iowa cat was a collaboration between the Iowa Department of Public Health; Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine; the Center for Advanced Host Defenses, Immunobiotics, and Translational Comparative Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Lands Stewardship Animal Industry Bureau.

    FROM: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/news/20091105/cat-gets-h1n1-swine-flu?ecd=wnl_day_110609
  6. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    I saw all this on the news too. Who would have thought our pets could get this. Not me.

    i have cats and dogs, wonder if dogs too could get this.

    A lady i know just had her 2 cats vaccinated with parvo/distemper and both cats became very ill after the shots. She's still waiting to hear what the vet has to say about this.
    My cats are indoor, never outside so i don't get the parvo/distemper for my cats, never have.
    Dogs yes but my cats no parvo/distemper.

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if now vets will offer the H1N1 vaccation for Cats.

    Guess we'll keep watching the news to see what in this world will be next. My goodness , what is all this coming to ?

    Live Life Well
  7. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    This is a strange flu, I had not had contact with anyone for two weeks, I was alone. I got that flu in March this year. The only thing I came in contact with was my mail, and my mailbox is 300ft from my house, so do not see the Mailperson that delivers it!

    My dog sleeps with me, and she was fine, today on the news I heard that your dog can get it from you! I wonder sometimes if the news just likes to cause a panic?

    It is a horrible flu, the fever is very bad, the muscle pain was beyond belief. I hurt from my toes to my fingers. I had muscle cramps like I was working out like a weight lifter (lucky if I can life a bag of sugar :)..my sinuses were very bad, went through a half dozen boxes of Puff's with all the mucus. The only thing I didn't get was a headache.

    The fever was so bad, that I called a friend of mine, and do not remember even calling her! She said she kept me on the phone for 5 hours, as she knew I was alone and sick. I still do not remember making that call.

    I do not remember much of what I did for a week, but I did take care of my two dogs, and do not remember doing that either!

    I did not hear about the cats, I do not have cats anymore, just my dogs.

    The only way I could have contacted this flu is from the mail itself. Who knows?? Now I wash my hands after I open all the mail too, what next???

    Shalom, Shirl

  8. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Wow...thank you for all of that info. I never would have thought our pets would be at risk also. The articles you posted really explained a lot about this virus. Very interesting.