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H5N1 Detected in Cat in Germany
February 28, 2006
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has been confirmed in a cat in Germany, the first time it has been positively identified in the country in an animal other than a bird, a national laboratory said today.
The cat was found on the northern island of Ruegen.
The finding of H5N1 in a cat in Germany is not a surprise. H5N1 was isolated from wild cats in zoos in Thailand. These cats had been fed raw H5N1 positive chickens. Similarly, H5N1 has been isolated from a naturally infected cat in Thailand (A/cat/Thailand/KU-02/04(H5N1)). Cat to cat transmission was also found in the zoo setting as well as experimentally infected cats.
However, finding H5N1 in a cat in Europe will certain focus the attention of H5N1 in pets and potential transmission to humans.