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Influenza A in Cats

In 2009, a new seasonal influenza appeared in humans that may have originated in Mexico. Referred to as pandemic H1N1, this virus was also found to infect other species, including ferrets, dogs, and cats. The researchers measured antibody levels to this virus in opportunistically collected serum samples from 78 cats in 2009-2010. These cats were at several locales throughout the US, including Nashville, Memphis, St. Paul, Madison, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Toledo. Over 20% of the cats tested had significant antibody levels to the pandemic H1N1 influenza. Interestingly, a similar number of cats also had titers to the seasonal viruses that have been circulating for years, the seasonal H1N1 and H3N2. It seems that influenza infection of domestic cats is quite common, so no snuggling if you’ve got the flu! [MK]
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