03/24/2006

Avian flu in cats and other pet animals - protective measures

At the end of February 2006 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), caused by
the H5N1 virus was detected in a domestic cat found dead on the northern island
of Ruegen, Germany. Since mid-February, over 100 birds have died on this island
and tests confirmed H5N1 infection. Also in Asia, cats and other felidae are
occasionally found to be infected with H5N1 since the start of the poultry
epidemic end 2003. Experimental studies have shown that the domestic cat can
become infected with the virus and that cat to cat transmission is possible in
principle. Serological studies in several Asian countries suggest that dogs may
also contract the H5N1 infection. Countries in Europe have advised owners of
pets living near H5N1 wild bird foci to keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash
when taken for a walk.

These recent events lead to many questions by the public and pet owners to
which the veterinary profession has to respond. In addition, there may be
exposure of pet owners and veterinarians. For example, when animals infected
with H5N1 (eg birds, dogs and cats) are brought to the veterinary clinic.
Important are also the contribution veterinary practitioners can make in the
surveillance of the disease for the presence of the H5N1 infection.

an "ANIMAL HEALTHSPECIAL REPORT" answers the following questions:

  • Is it safe to eat chicken?
     
    • From Europe?
       
    • From a bird flu outbreak zone?

  • Is it safe for children to pick up feathers?
  • Is it safe to hunt?
  • Should dead birds be reported (not on farms)?
  • Is it safe to handle/eat eggs?
  • Should people get flu shots?
  • What is the origin of the avian influenza crisis in Asia?
  • What should be done when an outbreak occurs?
  • Why does another animal/human health problem seem to follow so quickly on
    another?
  • What is the role of hygienic practises in prevention and containment of the
    disease?
  • HPAI in Asia; is there a Regional solution?
  • What is FAO doing in response to the avian influenza situation?
  • Which disinfectant should I use against avian influenza?
  • What can farmers do to protect their birds? - Biosecurity practice

Further Information:


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work