Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: swine flu

More spillover flu cases…2 cats in Canada

Posted in Cats
A few news articles have reported infection of two cats with the H1N1 flu virus. These are the first feline cases reported in Canada, but similar cases have been reported elsewhere, so it’s reasonable to assume that there have been previous undiagnosed feline cases in Canada. Nevertheless, it’s useful information. Unfortunately, the new reports are… Continue Reading

2009 feline H1N1 case published

Posted in Cats
When the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic infected large numbers of people, it was not particularly surprising that the occasional infection was noted in pets, considering over 50% of North American households have pets, and the close nature of contact that many people have with their pets. While the few cases that occurred were highly publicized, in… Continue Reading

H1N1 in a dog

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
H1N1 influenza was diagnosed in two dogs in China, bringing increased calls to pay attention to other animal species when it comes to this disease. I’m more surprised by this than finding H1N1 in a cat or ferret. Dogs are susceptible to influenza and have their own circulating influenza strain (H3N8, originally from horses) but… Continue Reading

More H1N1 cat cases

Posted in Cats
Perhaps not too surprisingly, more cats have been diagnosed with H1N1. Following the first reported case in Iowa, two more cases have been reported: one in Utah and one in Oregon. The Utah case apparently had typical flu-like disease. The cat from Oregon died of severe respiratory disease. This doesn’t really change anything. We know… Continue Reading

Stray cats and H1N1 influenza

Posted in Cats, Other diseases
The topic of the potential for feral (stray) animals, particularly cats, to be sources of human influenza infection came up today. For feral animals to be a public health problem, the following sequence has to happen: Feral animals need to be exposed to H1N1 This is pretty unlikely. Influenza is spread through close contact, mainly… Continue Reading

H1N1, cats and the potential for mutation

Posted in Cats
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to the press this week about H1N1 and pets. One question that has come up repeatedly involves concern about the potential for this virus to mutate because of its presence in pets. This largely relates to the general knowledge that pigs are potentially important "mixing vessels" for influenza… Continue Reading

H1N1 in a cat

Posted in Cats
H1N1 influenza has been confirmed in a cat in Iowa. The cat had "influenza-like illness" and was tested, with H1N1 being confirmed today. Two of three people in the house were also sick, but they became ill before the cat, and were presumably the source of infection for the cat. There’s no evidence that the… Continue Reading

Another ferret flu case

Posted in Other animals
A second ferret in the US has been diagnosed with H1N1 influenza. The latest case involves a fatal infection in a ferret from Nebraska that was presumably infected by its owner. Three other ferrets in the household were also sick, and it’s fair to assume that they had H1N1as well. It’s important to keep things in… Continue Reading

Pets and H1N1 revisited

Posted in Birds, Cats, Dogs, Other animals
The recent discovery of H1N1 influenza in a pet ferret has led to another round of concern about the potential impact of H1N1 on pets and pets as a source of human infection. Finding H1N1 in a ferret is not particularly surprising, considering ferrets are susceptible to various (including human) influenza viruses. We shouldn’t dismiss… Continue Reading

Updated H1N1 (swine) influenza outbreak numbers from WHO

Posted in Other diseases
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided the latest update about H1N1 influenza numbers internationally. (People are still often calling this "swine flu", but it has yet to be found in pigs and is clearly being transmitted human-human now, therefore some have recommended it be called "Mexican flu" or "North American flu" instead.  This also… Continue Reading

Interactive swine flu map

Posted in Other diseases
GoogleMaps has an interactive swine flu map that is quite interesting. The map indicates where cases of the disease have been diagnosed or are suspected, and it’s updated frequently.  Clicking on a marker gives you more information about what is happening in that particular location. Many of the pink "suspected" markers will probably turn out to… Continue Reading

Pets and household quarantine

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
A few years ago, I wrote a commentary in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases about pets and household quarantine. It was written after SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) had caused tremendous problems in many areas, including Toronto. The point I was trying get across was that while there was a strict household quarantine implemented for exposed people,… Continue Reading

EU recommends avoiding US/Mexico travel

Posted in Other diseases
The European Union’s Health Commissioner has recommended that Europeans avoid all non-essential travel to the US and Mexico (Canada’s apparently under the radar so far) as a measure to contain the spread of the emerging swine influenza virus. This has been met with some disdain by US officials, who emphasize the small number of cases… Continue Reading

Swine flu confirmed in Canada

Posted in Other diseases
Not surprisingly, swine influenza has been confirmed in Canada: 4 cases in Nova Scotia and 2 cases in British Columbia. More cases are certain to follow. As in the cases reported from the US so far, all Canadian cases have been mild. The 4 cases from Nova Scotia were from the same high school. One… Continue Reading