United States: The health experts have been highly concerned about the zoonotic spread of contagious bird flu, during the recent weeks. The infection has infected four (4) people and has been spreading very quickly, across the nation.

The authorities have sounded alarms after the spread has reached up to variety of mammals – from poultry to dairy farms to humans and now to cats and dogs. The virus was found in the cats of around 31 US states, according to the reports by health agencies. In certain states, the infection has been also seen in dogs, according to certain reports.

Following this, the health experts and authorities have been strictly scrutinizing the cases as the exposure to humans have increased, especially among the pet owners.  

Spread of Bird Flu among Mammals!

Different types of mammals have caught the infection in around 12 US states, including mice, foxes, mountain lions, cows and alpacas. In terms of cows, the health agency has mentioned that the infection has been spread very quickly, across the nation. In a few months, 90 herds have been infected from the virus.

In addition to these mammals, the H5N1 virus has also caused harm to dairy, poultry, and three agricultural workers who contracted it. However, the real concern appears to be escalating as canines and felines have also reported sporadic instances of the virus.

As per records, since March 1, more than 21 domesticated felines across nine (9) US states have manifested the disease. Research indicates that while infections were spreading among dairy farms, a small number of affected and deceased cats displayed symptoms that were previously overlooked.

Bird Flu Among Cats:

Reportedly, the health experts have mentioned that the researchers and experts were anticipating that the cats will catch bird flu. In this matter, a University of Maryland researcher – Kristen Coleman stated, “Domestic cats are actually highly susceptible to avian influenza, especially H5N1,” as per reports by New York Times.

Most avian-flu affected cats were feral, barn, and domestic cats.

Possibilities of Spread Among Dogs:

 According to the experts, the number of cases among dogs is smaller but is still present.

Despite its rarity in cats and dogs, scientists underscored the importance of treating it seriously, noting that “it results in very severe illness and oftentimes death.”

The CDC asserts that while the risk is exceedingly low, there exists a slight possibility of human illness if their pets contract the virus. Experts suggest that a cat’s saliva, excrement, or other bodily fluids could potentially transmit the H5N1 virus.

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