Avian Flu Found in Dead Cat in Germany

A study back in 2004 found that the avian flu (H5N1 virus) can also infect cats, and that cats can spread the flu to other cats. A dead cat in Germany this past weekend has been found to have had been infected with the H5N1 virus. It is believed that the cat contracted the virus after eating an infected bird, which is in line with the pattern of disease transmission in Asia. This was the first case of the H5N1 virus being found in a mammal in Europe. If the virus can be transmitted to cats can it be transmitted to other mammals, like humans?

One mammal that scientists are particularly worried about becoming infected by the H5N1 virus is the pig. Since pigs can be infected with the human flu virus, there is concern that if a pig were to become infected with both viruses they could combine to create a new virus that would be transmittable to people.

Check out this interactive map to see how far and fast the virus is spreading. Learn more about the avian flu here at Science Buzz by visiting Liza's blog on the avian flu or our online avian flu exhibit.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think this thing could kill a lot of cats.

posted on Fri, 03/03/2006 - 1:07pm

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