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Avian influenza, cats are at risk: 67% of those infected do not survive. Researchers: “Keep them at home”

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Avian influenza, scientifically known as H5N1, is raising growing concern in the scientific world about its ability to infect and kill…

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Avian influenza, scientifically known as H5N1, is raising growing concern in the scientific world about its ability to infect and kill domestic cats. A recent study from the University of Maryland, conducted by researchers Christine K. Coleman and Ian J. Bemis, found that 67% of infected cats do not survive, representing an alarming increase in reports starting in 2023. Although this phenomenon is not new, its spread among domestic cats is becoming particularly alarming.

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Avian influenza, mechanisms of infection

According to the study, cats become infected with the virus mainly through predatory activity and hunting infected birds and rodents. This normal behavior of cats increases the risk of infection. Furthermore, there is a possibility of transmission through consumption of contaminated raw milk and canned foods. It has also been observed that infected raw cow’s milk causes fatal infections in many cats.

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Avian influenza symptoms and prevention

Symptoms in affected cats include eye and nasal discharge, apathy, loss of coordination, and blindness. To prevent the risk of infection, it is necessary to take strict preventive measures: Keep cats indoors: limit the time they spend outdoors without supervision to reduce exposure to potential carriers of the virus.
Avoid raw foods: Do not feed raw meat or raw milk to cats. Monitor cats’ health: Monitor for any respiratory or neurological symptoms.

Bird flu, a two-year-old Australian girl contracted (possibly) in India. “He was suffering from fever, cough and vomiting.”

Risks to humans

Although the risk of direct transmission of the virus from cats to humans is currently considered low, it cannot be ruled out. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that the virus can evolve, increasing the risk of cross-species transmission. According to Dr. Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five amino acid mutations would be needed for a pathogen to make it easily transmissible to humans, which could lead to a pandemic.

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