A cat in a U.S. state has been diagnosed with swine flu. Local veterinarian Dr. Marty Greer tries to calm down pet owners, saying that one case is not the rule.
An Iowa cat has become the first of its species to come down with a confirmed case of H1N1 flu, officials said Wednesday. The 13-year-old cat was brought to Iowa State University's veterinary college, where tests confirmed that it had the new flu virus, the state health department said.
Symptoms in the cat included lethargy, a loss of appetite and difficulty breathing. The cat has since recovered.
Two of the three people who live with the cat had the flu before the cat got sick.
Greer, from Veterinary Village in Lomira, said one cat does not make an outbreak.
The isolated case is no indication there is any major health threat to pets, said Greer, while emphasizing the importance of practicing basic hygiene.
To protect pets, some experts suggest taking the same precautions with animals in the family as with someone who has the swine flu, including wearing a mask, keeping some distance, and repeated hand washing.
Greer said that at this point, veterinarians need a lot more information before any conclusions can be drawn about H1N1 and pet populations.
The report was prepared with the assistence of USA Today.
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