Tuesday, June 13, 2006

See, Cats Are Evil...

Yes, us "dog people" will find any reason to rag on you cat people (though I think walking in their own poo and then walking on your tables and counters sure says enough)... ;)

But, if that wasn't all you needed to know -heed this: cats can carry the avian bird flu.

"We know about cats as a potential host for avian influenza because of the extensive infection of cats in Asia in outbreaks there."

The report calls for more research to better understand the results of exposure on feral cats, farm cats and household pets and the risks of transmission to poultry.

Prof Andrew Easton, of the University of Warwick, said culling cats was not an option and a vaccine was not currently available, so it was important to prevent the animals from coming into contact with infection. "There are problems in doing that with cats in countryside areas which we recognize," he said.

Two years ago, there was the first report of a domestic cat vomiting, coughing up blood and dying from the avian influenza H5N1 virus in Thailand. Then came the death of 147 captive tigers fed virus-infected chicken carcasses and cases in Indonesia, where farmers already link the disease in cats to that in poultry.

Cats can become infected with the virus through contact with domestic and wild birds, and then excrete the virus from the respiratory and digestive tract, sometimes transmitting infection to other cats. Cats fed virus-infected chickens can be infected directly through the gut - a novel route for influenza transmission in mammals." (source)

Reason #764 not to own a cat...

(p.s. Please don't send me 1,000 emails telling me how fabulous your furry feline friend is...I'm writing this with a big smile. Thanks)

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