(NaturalNews) The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has announced an outbreak of bird flu among cats at the Manhattan Animal Care Center shelter. So far, there is no sign that the strain is able to pass from cats to humans.
This particular variety of bird flu, H7N2, has never before seen in cats. In fact, researchers had not seen it at all since 2006, when it was last found at live bird markets in New York. Researchers believe it may have persisted in wild bird populations since then.
Because this influenza strain crossed species barriers to be able to infect cats, health officials are monitoring the outbreak closely and are advising cat owners to be cautious. According to Jay Varma, New York City health department deputy commissioner for disease control, prior influenza pandemics probably began with a virus jumping between animal species before crossing to humans.
“Every time a virus adapts in a new animal, like a bird to a cat, we get concerned about the health of the cats and the humans who care for those cats,” Varma said. (Click to Article)