Wednesday, December 28, 2016

NYC: Health Dept Confirmed LOW Risk (NOT HIGH!) to Humans from H7N2 in Shelter Cats

For more on a different aspect of the H7N2 incident, please click to view post that was published by the SHELTER REFORM ACTION COMMITTEE on 12/29/16. Thanks to Zelda for the link.
12/28/16 POST:

Don't be a vector spreading the scapegoating of cats regarding flu! As with other human maladies, cats get a bad wrap for causing them. They don't need to get any more bad publicity from sensational media and alarmist citizens when it is unwarranted!

The brief blog post from Outbreak Watch and linked herebelow is published with a straightforward tone sharing what transpired at New York City Animal Control in regard to about 100 cats who tested positive for H7N2 - and one veterinarian who is in constant contact with infected cats and experienced a mild case of flu and recovered. The NYC Dept of Health stated, "All of the newly infected cats are experiencing mild illness and have been separated from other animals in the shelters. They are expected to recover. One cat admitted to the shelter with H7N2 infection died."

Outbreak Watch is published by ProMED-mail, a program of the International Society of Infectious Diseases. It compiles reports from others including NBC News and the New York City Department of Health. If you click to go to the NBC article, the headline is the boldly alarmist "Vet Catches Bird Flu From a Cat in New York by MAGGIE FOX" which sets an unfortunate tone compared to the NYC Dept of Health Press Release #104-16 which is the info contained in the NBC piece. The DOH headline is "Health Department Investigation of H7N2 Influenza in Shelter Cats Confirms Risk to Humans is Low" and for further info contact MEDIA CONTACT Maibe Ponet/Julien Martinez, (347) 396-4177  - please do contact the press office for more info if desired.

Before taking action or scapegoating a certain species, please always search for knowledge not headlines, and verify with more than one source even if that source is governmental such as the CDC, DOH, or @WHO. I would put more attention to real risks and hazards in the environment as there are multitudes of actual issues caused by "mankind" that need our time, vigilance, and action. For example, I noticed in 2016 that citizens are largely ignoring the risk from NYC, Florida, South Carolina, and other states (and how many countries?) spraying chemicals on air, land, water, people in efforts to stop the Zika virus. The spraying is fraught with more risks than mosquitos. I am greatly alarmed that citizens ignore the spraying (see more at my planetmanners post). Another example I always mourn is when 10+ years ago WHO decided that civets were responsible for a SARS outbreak and civets were killed; later it was determined that civets were not vectors for the disease (see scholarly article). Anyway, the over-abundant humans are often responsible for crowded conditions, exploitation of animals, and spread of disease.

Cats don't need more detractors. They suffer enough already from human neglect and ignorance, and have for hundreds of years.

Click to view Outbreak Watch post:

PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (70): USA (NY) feline, H7N2

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases