Bird flu transmitted from cat to human for first time

A veterinarian contracted avian influenza H7N2 from a cat in a New York City animal shelter, marking the first documented case of the virus being transmitted from feline to human, according to a news release from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The veterinarian reportedly contracted the virus while obtaining respiratory specimens from cats amid an outbreak of bird flu among animals in NYC's Animal Care Centers. Of the 350 people who may have come into contact with an infected cat, this is the only confirmed case of infection.

"Our investigation confirms that the risk to human health from H7N2 is low, but we are urging New Yorkers who have adopted cats from a shelter or rescue group within the past three weeks to be alert for symptoms in their pets," said Mary Bassett, MD, NYC health commissioner. "We are contacting people who may have been exposed and offering testing as appropriate."

More articles on infection control: 
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10 most popular infection control stories in December

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