Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
niman

H7N2 In New York Shelter Domestic Cats

6 posts in this topic

Rare bird flu strain infects 45 cats in single Manhattan shelter and may have spread to recently adopted felines

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
 
Thursday, December 15, 2016, 7:10 PM
Officials ask anyone who adopted Manhattan shelter cats in the past month to call the Health Department at 866-692-3641 for care instructions.

Officials ask anyone who adopted Manhattan shelter cats in the past month to call the Health Department at 866-692-3641 for care instructions.

 (ANIMAL CARE CENTERS OF NYC)

A rare strain of bird flu has infected at least 45 cats in a Manhattan animal shelter, officials said Thursday.

The virus is thought to pose a low risk to humans but health officials are concerned that it could have infected additional cats that have already been adopted from Animal Care Center’s Manhattan shelter.

"Although this strain of the avian flu has only resulted in mild to moderate illness in some cats located in one shelter, we have begun to test staff and people in close contact with the cats out of an abundance of caution," said First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "We will continue to actively monitor all people involved and adapt our response accordingly."

One older infected cat, who had underlying health problems, died, officials said. The Health Department and ACC are working on a quarantine facility to house the cats while the Manhattan shelter is disinfected.

Health officials believe Nov. 12th is the earliest date that the virus could have been introduced into the shelter and they have begun contacting people who have adopted cats from the facility since then.

They urge anyone who adopted Manhattan shelter cats in the past month to call the Health Department at 866-692-3641 for care instructions and to keep their cat separated from other animals if they show signs of persistent cough, lip smacking, runny nose, and fever.

First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said they’re testing people who have been in contact with the cats “out of an abundance of caution.”

First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said they’re testing people who have been in contact with the cats “out of an abundance of caution.”

 (CHRIS SOMMERFELDT )

Officials are also advising these pet owners to call the Health Department if they develop fever with a sore throat, fever with a cough, or red, inflamed eyes.

The outbreak marks the first time the virus - H7N2 has been detected and transmitted among domestic cats. It is unknown how the cats contracted the virus.

So far, the shelter has tested 20 dogs and none have contracted this virus. Testing of other animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, is ongoing.

According to the Health Department, there have been only two documented human cases of this type of avian influenza and both patients recovered.

Animal Care Centers of NYC has a contract with the city Health Department to take in homeless and unwanted animals, A spokeswoman for the shelter referred all calls to the city Health Department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Health Department, Animal Care Centers of NYC Report Cases of Rare Influenza Virus Among Cats at ACC’s Manhattan Facility

 

H7N2 strain has caused mild illness in cats in Manhattan shelter and is thought to pose a low risk to humans

The Health Department is contacting persons who recently adopted Manhattan shelter cats

 

December 15, 2016 – The Health Department and the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) today announced that a strain of influenza A virus, known as low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2, has been identified in 45 cats housed at the Manhattan shelter. This is the first time this virus has been detected and transmitted among domestic cats. It is unknown how the cats contracted the virus. So far this virus causes mild illness in cats and is thought to pose a low risk to humans. There have been only two documented human cases of low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2 infection in the United States – one in a farmer who worked closely with chickens in 2002 and the other with an unknown source in 2003. Both of these patients recovered.

Based on recent testing data by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, November 12, 2016 is the earliest date when this virus was likely introduced into the shelter. The Health Department is contacting all persons who have adopted cats from ACC’s Manhattan care center since November 12th. The Health Department is advising persons who adopted Manhattan shelter cats during this period to call the Department at 866-692-3641 for care instructions, including keeping their cat separated from other cats or animals, if their cat is showing signs of persistent cough, lip smacking, runny nose, and fever. The Health Department is also advising these pet owners to call 866-692-3641 if they develop fever with a sore throat, fever with a cough, or red, inflamed eyes.

This influenza virus is spreading from cat to cat and may be able to spread to other animals and possibly humans. No human infections have been identified to date. To date, ACC has tested 20 dogs at the shelter, and none have contracted this virus. Testing of other animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, is ongoing. There have been no reported cases of this virus among cats outside of the ACC shelter system.

ACC will continue to distribute instructions to all new and recent cat adopters to monitor their cats, which includes guidance on checking animals for upper respiratory illness. The Health Department is coordinating closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Agriculture, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and community partners.

“Although this strain of the avian flu has only resulted in mild to moderate illness in some cats located in one shelter, we have begun to test staff and people in close contact with the cats out of an abundance of caution,” said First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “We will continue to actively monitor all people involved and adapt our response accordingly.”

“While we are concerned about his new infection, the cats are experiencing only mild to moderate illness, other than one older cat who developed pneumonia,” said Sandra Newbury, clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the UW Shelter Medicine Program. “Many of the cats who were initially ill are already recovering. We do want people to be aware of what is happening, but influenza infection is unlikely in cats who have not had contact with cats from New York City’s Manhattan Animal Care Center."

Most of the infected cats have had a mild illness. One infected cat, who had underlying health problems and advanced age, died. The Health Department and ACC are working to identify a quarantine facility while the Manhattan shelter is disinfected. The cats will be monitored and released from quarantine once they have all fully recovered. To help contain the outbreak, the Health Department strongly discourages New Yorkers from dropping off cats at the ACC Manhattan shelter until all cats are quarantined.

While this influenza infection is unlikely in cats who have not had contact with cats from the ACC shelter, owners whose animals show signs of influenza should contact their veterinarian for care instructions and hand washing precautions should be taken to prevent spread of the virus on hands and clothing.

The Health Department will be coordinating testing and care for ACC employees and volunteers.

The Health Department will be releasing guidance to veterinarians about how to evaluate cats suspected of being infected with this virus and guidance to physicians about how to evaluate humans who have been exposed to cats suspected of having this virus.

The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory made the initial identification of the strain and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the test results.

Kathy Toohey-Kurth, at The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program, made the initial identification of the strain and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the test results. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program continues to work with ACC Manhattan shelter to manage the illness.

 

###

#104-16
MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez, (347) 396-4177pressoffice@health.nyc.gov

https://www.nycacc.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UW Identifies Flu Strain Affecting NYC Shelter Cars as H7N2 Influenza

Cat-pixabay-no-attribution-required-775xMADISON – The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified the influenza A strain involved in an outbreak among cats in a New York City animal shelter as low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2, a rare subtype that has not been found previously in domestic felines.

The Shelter Medicine Program at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine is working closely with New York City’s Manhattan Animal Care Center (ACC-Manhattan) and the New York City Health Department to manage the situation, which includes establishing a quarantine facility while the Manhattan center is disinfected.

Cats that have contracted the H7N2 strain in the shelter have displayed upper respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, persistent cough and lip smacking, but the illness has not been severe. One cat was euthanized after developing pneumonia. No other species of animals from the shelter, including dogs, have tested positive for the virus.

While we are concerned about this new infection, the cats are experiencing only mild to moderate illness…”

 

Sandra Newbury

“While we are concerned about this new infection, the cats are experiencing only mild to moderate illness, but a few have developed pneumonia,” says Sandra Newbury, clinical assistant professor at the veterinary school and director of the UW Shelter Medicine Program. “Many of the cats who were initially ill are already recovering. We do want people to be aware of what is happening, but influenza infection is unlikely in cats that have not had contact with cats from New York City’s Manhattan Animal Care Center.”

The first cases of influenza at the shelter were reported in late November when a private company, IDEXX Reference Laboratories, tested sick cats housed at ACC-Manhattan. The shelter then approached the UW Shelter Medicine Program and WVDL for more assistance since both helped manage outbreaks of a different strain of influenza that affected dogs and cats in the Midwest earlier this year and in 2015.

Further testing at WVDL found additional positive samples and led to identification of the H7N2 strain, a finding that has been verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California, Davis also confirmed the presence of H7N2 influenza virus after IDEXX provided samples to that lab for testing.

“This is the first time H7N2 has been detected and transmitted among domestic cats,” says Kathy Toohey-Kurth, clinical professor and head of the WVDL’s virology section.

 

This is the first time H7N2 has been detected and transmitted among domestic cats.”

 

Kathy Toohey-Kurth

Several cases of H7N2 were found in commercial poultry in the United States between 2000 and 2006, and it may be able to spread to other animals. There have been only two cases of H7N2 found in humans, and both cases ended with full recovery. The virus is thought to pose low risk to people. No human infections related to this case have been identified to date.

 

While influenza infection is unlikely in cats that have not had contact with infected felines from the shelter, owners whose animals show signs of influenza should contact their veterinarian for instructions. Cats suspected to be infected with the virus should be housed separately from other animals and precautions should be taken to prevent spread of the virus on hands and clothing.

“We’ll continue to work with the shelter to help manage the case and offer testing to any cats in rescue groups that are affected,” says Newbury. “We are hoping that offering this kind of diagnostic support will help rescue groups identify if they have cats with the virus so they can isolate them in order to stop the spread.”

Diagnostic testing conducted by the WVDL for animals that have come from the New York City shelter since Nov. 12 will be paid for by a generous gift from Maddie’s Fund, a family foundation that seeks to “revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.”

Shelters and rescue groups may contact the UW Shelter Medicine Program at uwsheltermedicine@vetmed.wisc.edu with testing inquiries or questions regarding influenza in cats and dogs, and can look for updates at www.uwsheltermedicine.com. More details about the program’s partnership to provide diagnostic testing for shelters can be found on its diagnostic testing webpage.

Nik Hawkins

CONTACT: Sandra Newbury, 608-335-2122, sandra.newbury@wisc.edu  

https://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/uw-identifies-h7n2-influenza-in-nyc-shelter-cats/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.