Poland investigates avian flu outbreak in domestic cats

Krakow (Poland) (BLAZETRENDS). – An outbreak of the A H5N1 virus, known as bird flu, which affects dozens of domestic cats in Poland, is being analyzed by the veterinary authorities due to its unusual characteristics and potential danger of spread.

In an interview published this Tuesday by the Polish press, a veterinarian who detected one of the first cases of this outbreak explained how, on June 18, he warned that, in Internet discussion groups specializing in animal epidemics, several colleagues were reporting cases of domestic cats dying after presenting severe neurological and respiratory symptoms.

The veterinarian, who has his own practice in the town of Pulawy (center) and preferred to remain anonymous because he had worked for the State, informed the media throughout the country about the disease and made a public appeal for no domestic cats to leave the country and for their owners to stop feeding them raw meat, one of the possible origins of the disease.

It was not until two weeks later when several Polish laboratories confirmed that they were cases of bird flu, which confirmed the impressions of the Pulawy veterinarian.

More than 60 dead cats

Currently 61 cats have died, some of them euthanized, due to an outbreak that worries the Polish health authorities.

Several veterinarians across the country have criticized the reaction of the GIW, the National Veterinary Inspection, which is accused of “having published some superficial advice” and not having decreed, for example, the inspection of canned cat food consumed in the country.

A Polish veterinarian, interviewed on the radio this Tuesday, assured that “the chief inspector of the GIW first took a long time to admit that a virus had been detected, without specifying that it was bird flu; then he confirmed it, but said that it was a few cases; and finally questioned the results of the analysis”.

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The true scope of the outbreak, whose most alarming characteristic is that it occurred at the same time, but in areas far removed from each other, remains to be determined, and some specialists say that the true number of cases may be several hundred.

Last week, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stressed that his body “monitors the situation in close collaboration with its partners and the Government of Poland.”

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