By Graela (Flickr) - published under a Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license.
Humans transmitting disease to cats is very rare it seems and it qualifies as cat news. I don't actually know of any except for the presumed transmission of swine flu to a cat from humans in the same household. Although it is worth mentioning that there seems to be some doubt as to whether the flu originated in pigs. As a result it is called H1N1 virus.
To remind ourselves zoonotic diseases are ones that are transmissible from animals to humans but it does not describe the transmission of disease in the other direction. Examples are cat scratch disease, feline rabies and ringworm
The H1N1 flu case in question occurred in Oregon, USA. The cat died. The cat was Buddy Lou and it was the first case of a cat dying of the H1N1 virus in the United States. The veterinarian could tell fairly quickly that this was not standard feline flu.
There have been other cases (two, I believe) one of which happened in Iowa. In these cases the cat pulled through.
The State Public Health Veterinarian of Oregon says that people should take care when handling a cat if the cat is ill. What about the other direction?
If we are ill with swine flu we should take steps to prevent transmission to our cat(s). The trouble is swine flu seems to have very similar symptoms to ordinary flu. And this story begs the question as to whether ordinary flu can be passed from human to cat. Has this been investigated? Well, the answer is that cats cannot get flu from us (except it seems swine flu - or have the vets made a mistake?)
Well, as the H1N1 virus only very rarely kills people yet it might be more dangerous to cats, I would have thought that in a cat sensitive household, the people living it in would take steps to prevent transmission to their cat. And that would mean the cat leaving the household for a while I would have thought.
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