Iowa Feline Catches Swine Flu

When you’re home sick, snuggling with a pet can have tremendous healing powers. “Plus,” you might say to yourself, “at least Fluffy can’t catch this awful swine flu I have.” Well….not so fast. It’s not common, but a cat in Iowa has been diagnosed with, and recovered from, swine flu.

The 13-year-old indoor cat in Iowa was brought to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where it tested positive for the H1N1 virus. …

“Two of the three members of the family that owns the pet had suffered from influenza-like illness before the cat became ill,” said IDPH Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Ann Garvey. “This is not completely unexpected, as other strains of influenza have been found in cats in the past.” Both the cat and its owners have recovered from their illnesses.

Perhaps this is the cue for pet stores across the country to set up displays of tiny paper masks and bottles of paw sanitizer.

Cat catches swine flu [Washington Post] (Thanks, Sarah!)
Protecting Pets from Illness [Iowa Department of Public Health]

(Photo: htby)