H1N1 Swine Flu Can Infect Some Pets

Felines, Fido, ferrets, feathered friends, H1N1 flu, you, and pigs, too!

Medical Author: Charles Davis, MD, PhD
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Many researchers and physicians believed it was bound to happen. And it did. Humans have begun infecting other species with "their" disease, the pandemic novel H1N1 influenza A swine flu. H1N1 infection of a domestic cat by its owner(s) has brought the concept of human-to-animal (pet) transfer of the flu to the news forefront. The infection, documented by laboratory identification of H1N1 from the feline, is the first documented case of human-to-cat flu. One of the major reasons this is news is because most people want to know two things:

    1. Can my cat (or other pet) transmit the flu (H1N1) to my family (or to anybody who contacts the pet)?

    2. If my family gets the flu (H1N1), are my pets (cats, dogs, birds, and others) going to get sick and die?

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