Not a Laughing Matter

Did you hear about the cat that came down with the flu? Such a line might be the start of a joke in some circles, but the fact that the novel 2009 H1N1 virus was confirmed in a cat in Iowa was serious business for veterinarians.

 When news broke Nov. 4 that the cat tested positive for the virus, we knew that our members and the general public were going to need answers. We wanted you and the public to have reliable, confirmed and accurate information on the case, and we also wanted to provide some context to cat owners so that they didn’t panic. We had heard from some folks, particularly those associated with animal shelters, that they were preparing for people to give up their cats out of fear that the virus might spread from their pets to their family.

 By working with folks both nationally and locally, including the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the CDC, the Iowa state veterinarian, the Iowa public health veterinarian and the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, our Communications Division was able to gather enough information to answer your questions. And by posting information on our Web site, issuing press releases and updating our FAQs on influenza, we also reached out to the general public. To stay up on the latest developments as they happen, be sure to check out our 2009 H1N1 Flu Virus Outbreak Web page.

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