2017 Veterinary Advisory: Influenza A, H7N2 Identified in Cats from Animal Care Centers of NYC Facility in Manhattan
Cats from a Manhattan Animal Care Center shelter tested positive for Influenza A, H7N2. This influenza virus has never before been seen in cats.
“The H7N2 virus can spread from cat to cat and to date has only been documented in the cats who have recently been in New York City shelters . The risk of H7N2 virus spreading from a cat to a person is considered to be low. The risk of H7N2 virus spreading from a cat to a dog is also thought to be low. Over 150 veterinary healthcare professionals in contact with the sick cats at Animal Care and Control were tested and only 1 person tested positive. This individual had mild transient signs consistent with a seasonal cold.
If your cat is having symptoms that may be consistent with an upper respiratory infection, we recommend not to allow your sick animal to kiss or lick your face. We also recommend to avoid cuddling and snuggling until your cat’s signs have resolved. These precautions are especially important for anyone who is pregnant and for those with compromised immune systems, such as people being treated for cancer, or anyone with other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease or kidney disease. If your cat is experiencing signs such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose and runny or red eyes and has recently been adopted from a shelter or has been in contact with another cat who was recently adopted, we recommend that they be evaluated by a veterinarian.”
—VERG Staff Internist Sarah Winzelberg, VMD