On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed case of H1N1 in a house pet, a 13-year-old domestic shorthaired cat. The animal likely contracted the virus from its owners, veterinarians say, since two of the three family members living in the cat's household had recently suffered from influenza-like illness. Late last week, when the cat came down with flu-like symptoms — malaise, loss of appetite — its owners brought it to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment. The family mentioned to the vet that they had also recently battled illness, which led to testing the pet for H1N1.
Garvey notes that despite nearly 25,000 cases of positive, lab-confirmed H1N1 in people reported in the U.S. since last spring, the Iowa cat is the first pet to be documented with the virus. But before pet owners start suspecting Fido and Fluffy of being H1N1 hotbeds, Garvey stresses that so far, no cases of influenza of any kind in pets — including cases of bird flu — are known to have moved from animals into people. And even among the animals, the virus does not appear to spread easily, which may further suggest that pets are not ideal reservoirs for influenza.
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None of our pets got sick while my son had this...but then I made him leave them alone too while he was sick so maybe that helped.