Forty-five cats in a Manhattan Animal Care Shelter have been infected by a rare strain of bird flu. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed that the cats have been infected with the H7N2 strain. This strain, which typically affects birds, has never before been detected in cats.
The New York City Department of Health sent out an alert regarding the infection. The alert noted that most cats developed a mild illness and should recover. One cat had other medical problems, developed pneumonia, and was euthanized.
According to the alert, there have only been two cases in which humans were infected with the virus, occurring in 2002 and 2003. In both cases the humans recovered.
Cats suffering from the bird flu may display a lack of appetite. They may be tired, may sneeze, have a cough, develop a runny nose, and develop eye discharge. The flu is contagious and can be passed from cat to cat.
Unfortunately, no one knows where this flu came from or how it started to affect cats in the shelter. If you suspect that your cat is sick, then you should immediately consult your veterinarian.