Cat dies of bird flu in Deux-Sèvres: “First in the world”

On December 28, 2022, French health authorities notified the World Organization for Animal Health of the discovery of the virus. Bird flu highly pathogenic A(H5N1) On December 23, the cat in the bird farm was euthanized Mauleon Deux-Sèvres. The analyzes carried out in a specialized laboratory in Brittany are formal.

It is “a special case“explains Pierre Bessières, virologist at the National Veterinary School of Toulouse. “An avian virus is by definition adapted to birds and is not very good at infecting mammals. Under certain conditions, when a mammal is exposed to a large amount of virus, we can get what is called crossing the species barrier“.

Cat infection with virus group “2344B” has never been observed on the planet

That's enough for the cat ate feceshas inhaled a large amount of dust or gone to feed on a bird carcass… All this may very well explain why he was infected with the virus“continues the researcher. Pets are not the only ones affected.”We've already seen birds infect humans, pigs, cats, dogs, and even cetaceans.“.

Cats were infected with H5N1 in Europe already in the early 2000s.But a clinical case with a virus that matches the currently circulating strains is the first time it has been described in the world.“News that has not gone unnoticed by the international community.”We conduct ongoing monitoring of the scientific literature and it is in this context that we were informed of the Deux-Sèvres discovery.“, concludes Pierre Bessier.

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Darell Goodwin

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