H5N1, the influenza A “bird flu” virus that led to massive
slaughters of poultry in affected Asian countries and claimed the lives of
at least 29 people so far in 2004, can also infect domestic cats, Dutch scientists
reported last month in an online edition of Science (http://www.sciencexpress.org). The findings were published shortly after
reported detection of H5N1 virus in some pigs in China raised concerns that
pigs infected with both human and bird flu strains might serve as a vessel
for the emergence of a new avian flu strain that could easily infect humans.
Stephenson J. Bird Flu in Cats. JAMA. 2004;292(15):1810. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1810-c