VANCOUVER: Veterinarians and scientists have decided that a brand-new feline disease has become evident at the SPCA’s animal centre in Vancouver. They say that it is a virus and that it affected 43 cats in British Columbia. The story goes back to 2018, apparently, when eight cats fell ill with it suffering from symptoms akin to a human stomach flu bug. Tests were done for intestinal parasites which were negative. They became concerned after the tests.
The senior manager of animal health at the SPCA, Dr Emilia Gordon, said that within days they were aware that they were dealing with a new disease. They traced it back to 2 cats in the Quesnel1 shelter. These two cats introduced the disease to the Vancouver facility.
A research team at the University of California in San Francisco appear to have confirmed the existence of this new parvovirus which, incidentally, is unrelated to Covid-19. Their research is published in the science journal Viruses.
There appears to be a high rate of recovery due in part because of the instigation of stringent control measures. Two of the 43 infected cats were euthanised but this was due to other medical conditions.
More research needs to be carried out on this. However, the experts seem to be convinced that they have a new, fast-spreading, viral disease causing a form of feline stomach flu.
COMMENT: We will have to follow the news to see what happens next. It is slightly concerning because any infectious and contagious illness which is described as fast spreading needs to be watched carefully because in shelters such diseases can cause devastation sometimes. This is because in order to quash the disease extreme measures sometimes have to be taken. Diseases can spread rapidly in the close confines of an animal shelter.
The story is reported by CTV News.
1. Quesnel is a city located in the Cariboo Regional District of British Columbia, Canada.