It is recommended strengthen surveillance of cases of Bird flu in mammals, because it is feared that the disease may spread to humans through pets such as dogs and cats. Two alerts were issued in the space of two days. WHO and EFSA have warned against an increase in the circulation of the bird flu virus. The WHO has expressed concern that the increase in cases of bird flu in mammals is facilitating the spread of the virus. virus to humans. EFSA, for its part, recommends strengthen the control of possible contaminations cats and dogs with bird flu in areas where the virus circulates.
Cases of poultry and wild birds infected with the bird flu virus in several regions have been identified, which go from Norway to the Mediterranean coast, between the end of April and the end of May. In addition, several mammals have also been infected around the world, including foxes, bobcats, black bears, raccoons, red foxes, sea lions, and coatis. EFSA underlines this most wild mammals affected by bird flu they are carnivores that hunt wild birds, feed on dead wild birds, or both (source 1).
A risk to pets
Where he worries is here the virus seems to be spreading pets. poland, 24 domestic cats and a caracal in captivity has been tested positive for bird flu highly pathogenic (HPAI). The cats were shown respiratory and neurological symptoms, and some died. In Italy, antibodies were also detected in one cat and five dogs on a farm affected by IAHP in poultry. However, the mode of transmission remains unknown and no cat-to-cat or cat-to-human transmission has been demonstrated to date, according to the EFSA.
The WHO warns against the possibilityan adaptation of the virus to humans, as avian influenza viruses normally spread among birds, but the increasing number of cases in mammals raises concerns about the possible ease of infection of humans. WHO, FAO and OIE are also concerned that some mammals may become infected « mixing tanks » for influenza viruseswhich could lead to theemergence of new viruses that are even more dangerous for animals and humans.