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Poland - Media Reports Of Unusual Cat Deaths - June 21, 2023 - reportedly "influenza", ECDC RIsk Assessment & OFFLU Statement - Food Chain Concerns - H5N1

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  • Poland - Media Reports Of Unusual Cat Deaths - June 21, 2023 - reportedly "influenza", ECDC RIsk Assessment & OFFLU Statement - Food Chain Concerns - H5N1

    Media Reports Of Unusual Cat Deaths In Poland




    #17,504

    Overnight there are literally dozens of media reports of unusual cat deaths across Poland due to an as-yet unidentified cause. Most appear to be `echo' reports, based on a limited number of incidents.

    While many causes are possible - including deliberate or accidental poisonings - with recent reports of avian flu affecting cats in the United States, Canada and France, media speculation is running high.






    While a hyperbole warning is in effect, a few link to (Polish Language) reports include:





    The primary source for these reports appears to be a combination of anecdotal reports from across Poland, and an alert issued on Facebook by SpecVet - Specjalistyczne Przychodnie Weterynaryjne (SpecVet - Specialist Veterinary Clinics) which operates at two locations in Warsaw.

    A translation of a portion of this alert reads:

    For several days in Poland, there have been several cases of illness in cats with neurological and respiratory symptoms.

    Disease symptoms such as:
    - hyperglycaemia
    - dementia
    - stiffness of the limbs
    - shortness of breath
    - anisocoria
    - pupils that do not react to light
    - convulsions
    - seizure attacks
    - decrease in saturation
    - hypokalaemia
    - elevated AST and CK blood parameters
    should be urgently consulted with a veterinarian.

    Due to the threat posed by this disease, please exercise extreme caution. Do not go for walks with cats, limit contact with raw pork and poultry meat, do not allow contact with wild birds.

    Currently, no treatment is effective. There is a high mortality rate, and both young and healthy animals as well as old or sick ones get sick.

    #specvet #attention #vet #alert #dangerous #weterynarzwarszawa
    #news






    Depending upon the source, the number of cats affected range from `several', to `many'. So far, I've seen no hard numbers published.

    Although the combination of respiratory and neurological symptoms are generally consistent with avian H5 infection in mammals (Preprint: Pathology Of HPAI H5N1 clade 2.3.4.4b in Wild Terrestrial Mammals in the United States in 2022), thus far we've seen no laboratory evidence supporting that cause.






    Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer is being quoted in the media as saying:

    – At the moment, there is no evidence, in particular no laboratory results, that could support the claim that the symptoms described in the media, observed in cats, result from infection with the avian influenza virus and occurred after eating raw meat of any species of slaughter animal, legally traded and obtained in approved slaughterhouses where they underwent ante- and post-slaughter inspections.






    Hopefully necropsies and laboratory analyses are ongoing, and we'll learn more in the days ahead.

    Up until twenty years ago, cats were thought largely immune to influenza A viruses, but that perception changed after hundreds of captive tigers (and other large cats) died in Southeast Asia after being fed raw poultry contaminated with the H5N1 virus (see HPAI H5: Catch As Cats Can).

    For the next dozen years we saw sporadic feline infections with H5, and in 2016 we saw another avian virus - H7N2 - sweep through hundreds of cats in animal shelters in New York City, while also infecting several workers (see J. Virology: Virulence Of A Novel H7N2 Virus Isolated From Cats In NYC - Dec 2016).






    Although the risk of contracting HPAI from a companion animal is considered very low, it is not zero.

    Which is why the CDC, and other public health agencies around the world, have issued guidance to pet owners on how to best protect their animals from undo exposure (see Bird Flu in Pets and Other Animals).


    https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2023/...deaths-in.html
    Last edited by Michael Coston; July 4, 2023, 06:31 AM.
    All medical discussions are for educational purposes. I am not a doctor, just a retired paramedic. Nothing I post should be construed as specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem, see your physician.

  • #2

    Please see:

    Poland Vet Chief: `Influenza' Confirmed In Some Recently Reported Feline Deaths


    ---------------------------------------------


    FluTrackers.com
    @FluTrackers
    Blog - Media Reports Of Unusual Cat Deaths In Poland, by
    @Fla_Medic
    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/internet-communication/avian-flu-diary/975679-media-reports-of-unusual-cat-deaths-in-poland…
    11:37 AM · Jun 21, 2023
    ·
    736
    Views​​

    Comment


    • #3
      Translation Google


      A mysterious disease attacks cats. They die quickly. Vets: we are unable to help them

      TVN24|Pomorze

      June 21, 2023, 14:36
      Author:ng/current
      Source:TVN24


      An unidentified disease takes its toll among cats. Veterinarians have no idea what disease they are dealing with, similar symptoms occur among cat patients all over Poland. In the Tri-City Veterinary Clinic, out of 13 cats that came to the facility from Friday, only three remained alive. - We are trying to introduce various treatment schemes, but none of them is effective today - says the director of the Tri-City Veterinary Clinic, Paulina Grzelakowska.

      For several days, signals have been coming from all over Poland about a significant increase in sudden, mysterious diseases and deaths among cats. Veterinary practices, animal shelters, breeders and private owners provide information on this subject online.

      Veterinarians are sounding the alarm so that owners of domestic cats take all precautions and do not let them outside. They also recommend limiting your pets' contact with raw pork and poultry as a precaution, and keeping them out of contact with wild birds.

      Symptoms non-specific, animals die in a short time

      The disease has an acute course, in animals there are m.in. high fever, shortness of breath and neurological disorders, and progresses very rapidly. Apart from the symptoms, veterinarians have not yet been able to find a common denominator for their patients, because cases of the disease affect both outdoor and indoor cats, young and old. So far, no patient with these symptoms has been saved. Samples taken from dead animals were sent to the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy.

      - According to our observations, the situation has been going on since Friday. Since then, 13 cats have come to us, of which 10 of them unfortunately failed to help. Animals die in a short time. Blood tests show elevated liver parameters, thrombocytopenia. These are very non-specific symptoms and we are unable to help them. We are doing everything we can to keep them alive, but the prognosis of those that remain with us is also poor. We don't know what's wrong with them. We have different suspicions. In the case of our patients, we verify what of the things we consider could have had an impact. We are trying to introduce various treatment schemes, but none of them is effective today - says Paulina Grzelakowska, director of the Tri-City Veterinary Clinic in Gdańsk.

      As he emphasizes, at the moment the hospital of the Tri-City Veterinary Clinic only accepts feline patients with this disease entity.

      "We have no idea what we're up against"

      - We do not accept other cats because we do not know what we are dealing with. We also haven't been able to determine whether they can be infected from each other. We try to help animals without these symptoms on an ongoing basis in our outpatient clinics - adds Grzelakowska.

      He also points out that at the moment, doctors are unable to diagnose animals before they show symptoms of the disease.

      - We do not know what laboratory tests we should use to determine whether a given cat is already sick with this entity, because we have no idea what we are dealing with. We hope that the results of the autopsy will help us find the cause of the disease - he explains.

      The Chief Veterinary Officer referred to the alarming reports for cat owners.

      - At the moment, there is no evidence, in particular no laboratory results, that could support the claim that the symptoms described in the media, observed in cats, result from infection with the avian influenza virus and occurred after eating raw meat of any species of slaughter animal, legally traded and obtained in approved slaughterhouses where they underwent ante- and post-mortem inspection.

      It was also emphasized that, according to the data of the World Organization for Animal Health, only two cases of infection of domestic cats with avian influenza viruses have been confirmed in the world so far.

      The Chief Veterinary Officer assured that he is in close contact with scientific institutions in the field of veterinary medicine and the authorities of the National Chamber of Veterinary Medicine in order to clarify the situation and will take action appropriate to the situation if he has new data.

      Niezidentyfikowana choroba zbiera żniwo wśród kotów. Weterynarze nie mają pojęcia, z jakim schorzeniem mają do czynienia, podobne objawy występują wśród kocich pacjentów w całej Polsce. W Trójmiejskiej Klinice Weterynaryjnej spośród 13 kotów, które trafiły do placówki od piątku, tylko trzy pozostały przy życiu. - Staramy się wprowadzać różne schematy leczenia, jednak na dzień dzisiejszy żaden z nich nie jest skuteczny - mówi dyrektor Trójmiejskiej Kliniki Weterynaryjnej Paulina Grzelakowska.


      ---------------------------------------------

      June 23, 2023, 16:17

      What kills cats? Samples taken from dead animals were tested. There are preliminary research results

      TVN24 | Pomerania

      June 23, 2023, 16:17
      Author:ng/current
      Source:TVN24

      Mysterious cat disease

      The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate informed that influenza virus was detected in four samples taken from dead cats in the Tri-City. Scientists will analyze what type of virus they are dealing with. Full and final results are due to be announced after the weekend.

      For several days, signals have been coming from all over Poland about a significant increase in sudden, mysterious diseases and deaths among cats. Veterinary practices, animal shelters, breeders and private owners provide information on this subject online. The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate is closely monitoring the development of the situation.

      Mysterious disease of cats. There are preliminary research results

      - Currently, the Veterinary Inspection is at the stage of collecting as much information as possible that can be confirmed by scientific methods. In-depth studies are being carried out on samples taken from animals that fell ill with an unknown etiology of the disease. Based on the preliminary results of laboratory tests (samples from the Tri-City area), carried out at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, the cause of the disease is the influenza virus, informed the General Inspector for Influenza.

      As he emphasizes, research in this area is carried out constantly. Currently, the GVI is waiting for the results of new research on the basis of which they will be able to draw further conclusions.

      For now, there is no confirmation that the disease that affects cats is related to the avian influenza virus. In an officially issued communiqué, the General Inspector of Warsaw emphasized on Wednesday that so far only two cases of infection of domestic cats with diseases originating from birds have been confirmed worldwide.

      Cats have a mysterious disease. How to protect them?

      Veterinarians are still sounding the alarm so that owners of domestic cats take all precautions and do not let them outside. They also recommend that you limit your pets' contact with raw meat as a precaution, keep them out of contact with wild birds, and thoroughly sanitize your hands and shoes upon entering your home.

      The disease has an acute course, in animals there are m.in. high fever, shortness of breath and neurological disorders, and progresses very rapidly. The disease affects both outdoor and indoor cats, young and old.

      - Animals die in a short time. Blood tests show elevated liver parameters, thrombocytopenia. These are very non-specific symptoms and we are unable to help them. (...) We are trying to introduce various treatment schemes, but none of them is effective today - said Paulina Grzelakowska, director of the Tri-City Veterinary Clinic in Gdańsk, on Wednesday.

      She emphasized that she hopes that the results of the post-mortem examination will help find the cause of the disease.


      Główny Inspektorat Weterynaryjny poinformował, że w czterech próbkach pobranych od martwych kotów w Trójmieście wykryto wirus grypy. Naukowcy przeanalizują, z jakim typem wirusa mają do czynienia. Pełne i ostateczne wyniki mają zostać ogłoszone po weekendzie.
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela

      Comment


      • #4
        Translation Google


        JUNE 21, 2023

        PWLW announcement regarding cases of cat diseases

        The Pomeranian Voivodeship Veterinary Officer informs that in connection with the information coming to this Inspectorate regarding cases of sudden illnesses of cats in the province. Pomeranian, started cooperation with the President of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Medical and Veterinary Chamber. In order to assess the situation, data from animal treatment facilities were collected, which show that the highest morbidity and mortality of cats with neurological and respiratory symptoms concerns notifications from treatment facilities in the City of Gdańsk. The information obtained so far shows that in the last two weeks, 28 such cats were sent to medical facilities in Gdańsk and the Gdańsk district, of which 25 did not survive. In the remaining poviats, medical facilities did not report the cases in question or reported single cases.

        In addition to the above, I am submitting a message from the Chief Veterinary Officer.

        "In connection with information appearing in social media about alleged infections of domestic cats with avian influenza viruses, the Chief Veterinary Officer informed that:

        At the moment, there is no evidence, and in particular no laboratory results, that could support the claim that the symptoms reported in the media, observed in cats, are due to infection with avian influenza virus and occurred after eating raw meat of any species of slaughter animal, legally traded and obtained in approved slaughterhouses where they have undergone ante- and post-mortem inspection.

        According to the data of the World Organization for Animal Health, so far only 2 cases of infection of domestic cats with avian influenza viruses have been confirmed in the world (source: https://wahis.woah.org ).

        According to the current state of knowledge, the avian influenza virus poses a threat to domestic and wild birds. The Chief Veterinary Officer is in close contact with scientific institutions in the field of veterinary medicine and the authorities of the National Chamber of Veterinary Medicine in order to clarify the situation.

        In the case of new data, the CVO will take action appropriate to the situation and possible threat to animal health in accordance with the principles adopted by law.”



        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • #5
          Translation Google

          Mysterious disease of cats. PIW: We have identified the avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype

          4 hours ago

          The causes of sudden fatal diseases in cats are being investigated. Such cases were found in several poviats in Poland, e.g. in the north of the country and in Wrocław. Preliminary results from the H5N1 avian influenza virus were published today.

          The cats got sick with bird flu

          Sudden cat illnesses are accompanied by neurological and respiratory symptoms, described as non-specific, which means that they do not indicate a specific disease entity. Veterinarians from various cities in Poland at the beginning of the week began to provide information on cases of sudden illnesses that end in the death of animals.

          The case, in accordance with the procedures applicable to hospitals, was reported to veterinary inspectorates. A study was ordered to determine the cause of death of the cats. On Friday (June 23), the Chief Veterinary Officer announced in a statement that the preliminary results were known.

          In-depth studies are being carried out on samples taken from animals that fell ill with an unknown etiology of the disease. Based on the preliminary results of laboratory tests (samples from the Tri-City area), carried out at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, the cause of illness is the influenza virus. We are currently waiting for the results of new studies that are constantly being conducted. Only after doing so can we draw further conclusions.

          Research is being conducted at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, where it was confirmed that the cats were infected with avian influenza.

          - We have diagnosed samples from four cats in our laboratory as positive for H5N1 avian influenza virus. However, we still need to explain where the infection comes from, which is why we are taking actions to provide an answer - says Professor Dr. Hab. Katarzyna Domańska-Blicharz from PIW in Puławy in an interview with Nowiny.

          The genome of the virus will be sequenced to determine its genotype.

          "We'll know if it's a gull variant or something else, or if this virus in cats has some changes in the genome that predispose it to mammalian organisms." We're dealing with the avian virus all the time, but it's a virus, and it's probably causing some changes. We are waiting impatiently for the results of the research - explains Professor Dr. Hab. Katarzyna Domańska-Blicharz, adding that these will probably appear next week.

          So far, isolated cases of avian influenza in cats have been reported worldwide. However, as the scientist we spoke to adds, the number of signals and reports of infections of wild, predatory, carnivorous animals has increased in the last two years. Following the recommendation of EFSA, the European Commission is considering testing mammals in areas at risk.

          I am talking about the whole situation in the world and in Europe, which is quite worrying when it comes to avian influenza. And now we have a very large outbreak of wild birds, especially black-headed gulls in Poland for several months, so it is possible that these cats, who are carnivorous predators, ate something dead. But we need to clear it all up - says the professor.

          Specialists from the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy confirm that the cases of illness concern domestic cats, at the same time they point out the possibility that they could have been outdoor cats, which is currently being determined.

          GIV is following the case

          The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate assures that it closely follows the development of the situation and remains in constant contact with the voivodship branches of the inspectorate "in order to monitor and analyze the situation".

          Currently, the Veterinary Inspection is at the stage of collecting as much information as possible that can be confirmed by scientific methods. If new data is obtained, the CVO will take appropriate action, in accordance with the rules adopted in law - informs the General Inspector of Institution, at the same time recommending pet owners to contact veterinarians in the event of any alarming situations regarding animal health.

          The case of cat diseases at the beginning of the week became one of the dominant topics on social media. There were suspicions that the source of the disease may be avian influenza. In response to these speculations, which were followed by advice not to give raw poultry meat to cats, the General Inspector of Warsaw issued a statement on Tuesday (20.06.) that "there are no test results that could be a premise for claiming that the media described the symptoms observed in cats are due to infection with avian influenza virus and occurred after eating raw meat of any legally traded species obtained from approved slaughterhouses where ante- and post-mortem inspections have been carried out.

          Today, when the results of the research are known, scientists emphasize that the meat that is available in stores has been tested and there is no risk of getting sick this way, also for people who should eat both meat and eggs after heat treatment.

          What is the bird flu virus?

          Avian influenza occurs worldwide and all bird species are susceptible to contracting the virus, although some species are more resistant than others. To date, more than 140 strains of the virus have been identified. Most of them are benign varieties with low pathogenicity.

          Humans can become infected with avian influenza virus through very close direct contact with infected poultry, or with surfaces and objects contaminated with its droppings. Direct contact means carrying or staying within 1 meter of birds or their droppings (birds excrete the virus with feces).

          Let's add that so far there are no reports of diseases among cats in Silesia, the case is monitored by poviat inspectorates, veterinarians with whom we have been in contact also know about the situation and follow it on an ongoing basis.


          Trwa ustalanie przyczyn nagłych śmiertelnych chorób kotów. Przypadki takie stwierdzono w kilku powiatach w Polsce, m.in. na północy kraju i we Wrocławiu. Dziś opublikowano wstępne wyniki badań, które dały pozytywne wyniki pod kątem wirusa ptasiej grypy H5N1.
          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela

          Comment


          • #6
            Translation Google

            Bird flu in Polish cats? Virologist: It doesn't look good

            Author
            PAULINA WOJTOWICZ
            June 24, 2023

            Bird flu virus was detected in three Polish cats. This is a sensation, because so far only two cases of death of these animals due to infection with the H5N1 virus have been confirmed in the world. Is there anything to be afraid of? "We are talking about three cases here; it does not mean a cause and effect relationship, but it does not look good" - admits Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, virologist.

            ...

            Influenza virus in cats

            The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate informed that influenza virus was detected in three samples taken from cats that died in the Tri-City. "Based on the preliminary results of laboratory tests carried out at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, the cause of the disease is the influenza virus ."

            Veterinarians from several provinces have reported the mysterious deaths of cats in recent days. For now, however, there are no test results that would confirm that these animals were also infected with the influenza virus .

            Experts are urging cat owners not to let them out for now, at least until the situation clears up.

            Virologists about flu cases in Polish cats

            Polish virologists referred to these disturbing reports: dr hab. n. med. Tomasz Dzieciątkowski and prof. Krzysztof Pyrc.

            " In the past, cats (as well as dogs) were commonly thought to be immune to infection with influenza viruses. We now know that they are susceptible to infection with some influenza A viruses from other species," writes Dr. Dzieciątkowski.

            In February 2023, a report was published reporting two deaths of cats (from Nebraska) infected with H5N1. Both cats lived in the same household and showed symptoms of a rapidly progressing neurological disease in a severe form. The first cat died, the second was euthanized. The H5N1 virus was detected in the brain tissue of both.

            "Cat flu is thought to spread in the same way as human flu: by direct contact (playing or sleeping together, licking, nose-nusting), by droplet infection, and by contaminated surfaces (such as shared food and water bowls) Some scientific studies suggest that people can also infect cats with seasonal influenza viruses. Less definitely is known about the risk of influenza transmission to humans by an infected cat" - added Dr. Dzieciątkowski.
            ...
            He added that there have been cases of H7N2 avian influenza virus infection in cats in US shelters in recent years, but the infections have resulted in mild respiratory symptoms.

            The virologist also addressed the risk of infection with the H5N1 virus, writing that this highly virulent pathogen "can cause severe disease in cats and is spread by contact between cats" .

            Prof. Pyrć briefly summed up the topic on his Facebook profile: "We are talking here [in the statement of the Chief Veterinary Officer - ed.] about three cases; this does not mean a cause and effect relationship, but it does not look good." Earlier, he urged: "If you have cats, consider not letting them outside for a while and put your shoes in a cupboard when you get home."

            In an interview with "Newsweek", the Krakow virologist once again pointed out that in order to seriously consider the threat, the connection between influenza virus infection and cat deaths must be confirmed. Prof. Pyrć drew attention to the fact that there has been talk of a flu pandemic among birds for some time, and reports of cases of infection with the same virus in mammals are very worrying.

            "The greatest concern is the possibility of the emergence of a variant of the virus that would effectively transmit between people. With a mortality rate of 60 percent, this would be extremely dangerous" - he explained.

            The expert also mentioned that other possible causes of the mysterious cat deaths are also being investigated. "There are speculations among veterinarians that the new disease may be caused by the rustrel virus, related to the human rubella virus , which has recently appeared in several European countries. We are currently waiting for the results of tests that will confirm or exclude the presence of this virus in the samples."


            EXPERTS
            Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć — virologist, employee of the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University. A graduate of the Jagiellonian University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Lodz. Creator and head of the Virology Laboratory at the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University.

            Dr. hab. n. med. Tomasz Dzieciątkowski — virologist, microbiologist, laboratory diagnostician. Doctor of medical sciences, assistant professor at the Department and Department of Medical Microbiology of the Medical University of Warsaw and assistant at the Department of Microbiology of the University Clinical Center of the Medical University of Warsaw.


            U trzech polskich kotów wykryto wirus ptasiej grypy. To ewenement, bo do tej pory na świecie potwierdzono tylko dwa przypadki zgonów tych zwierząt z powodu infekcji wirusem H5N1. Czy jest się czego bać? "Mowa tutaj o trzech przypadkach; nie oznacza to związku przyczynowo-skutkowego, ale wygląda nie najlepiej" — przyznaje prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, wirusolog.


            ------------------------------------

            A mysterious cat disease is troubling scientists. "We are most afraid of this scenario"

            Today at 12:00
            Catherine Burda

            High fever, shortness of breath, death - this is the course of the disease that has already attacked several dozen cats in Poland. It has an acute, violent course, and the doctors who come into contact with it are helpless. - Until the final cause of the mysterious diseases is determined, it is better not to let the cats out of the house - says prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, a virologist from the Jagiellonian University.

            "Newsweek": The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate issued a statement that influenza virus was detected in three samples taken from cats that died in the Tri-City. "Based on the preliminary results of laboratory tests carried out at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, the cause of the disease is the influenza virus." It doesn't sound very scary...

            Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć: But it can potentially be dangerous if the cause and effect relationship between the presence of the virus in cats' bodies and their death is confirmed. Today, there is no confirmation of this, only preliminary results that require verification. What we fear the most is that what killed the cats is the H5N1 bird flu virus.

            Wysoka gorączka, duszności, śmierć — taki przebieg ma choroba, która zaatakowała już kilkadziesiąt kotów w Polsce. Ma ostry, gwałtowny przebieg, a lekarze, którzy się z nią zetknęli, są bezradni. — Do czasu ustalenia ostatecznej przyczyny tajemniczych zachorowań, lepiej nie wypuszczać kotów z domu — mówi prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, wirusolog z Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.
            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • #7
              Communication of the III CVO on the disease of cats


              Messages
              2023-06-26

              The Chief Veterinary Officer informs that:
              The results of subsequent tested samples taken from cats from Lublin and Poznań are available.
              Until June 26 at 11:00 11 samples were tested at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, of which 9 gave a positive result for H5N1 influenza. Positive samples come from Poznań, Tri-City and Lublin. Further detailed studies of the genetic material of viruses are underway. Preliminary research excludes the origin of the influenza virus that has been causing gulls to become ill in recent weeks.
              Today, a sanitary and epizootic meeting was held, where a plan for further action was discussed.
              Work is underway to establish a protocol for monitoring the disease in cats in order to collect more detailed data on its course and occurrence.
              The source of infection has not yet been identified.
              By analyzing data from other countries, it was established that the rules to prevent possible contact of cats with the virus should be based on:
              • Keeping cats indoors if possible. Any release of the animal to the balcony or terrace should be preceded by washing the substrates with standard detergents;
              • Preventing contact between cats and other wild animals, including birds;
              • Preventing cats from coming into contact with footwear that is used outside the home;
              • Feeding cats only food from known sources;
              • Washing hands after contact with animals (maintaining standard hygiene rules after coming from the court).
              Any new guidelines as well as announcements in the case will be regularly published on the official website ( https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/main/komunikaty ), in order to provide you with current information .



              Comment


              • #8
                Please also see:

                Poland: 2022 - 2023 H5N1 in wild birds

                Poland: 2021/2022/2023 H5N1 in poultry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Translation Google

                  Avian flu among cats. Samples were tested

                  June 26, 2023 / 14:42

                  In 9 out of 11 samples taken from dead cats, the bird flu virus was confirmed, the Chief Veterinary Officer informed. The research was conducted by the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy.

                  Among the tested samples there are also those from two cats that died at the Clinic of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin.

                  - So far, these are the only cases of cats with influenza virus in our Clinic - says Professor Łukasz Adaszek from the Department of Epizootiology and the Clinic of Infectious Diseases at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin. – They were infected with the bird flu virus, strain H5N1. It begins with general symptoms, i.e. loss of appetite, apathy, weakness. Later, respiratory symptoms appear, i.e. severe shortness of breath, cough and neurological symptoms, i.e. uneven dilation of the pupils, convulsions.

                  The remaining samples came from dead cats from the Tri-City and Poznań.

                  The source of infection in cats is still unknown. Detailed studies of the genetic material of viruses are conducted by the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy.

                  - Unfortunately, we still have not been able to determine the source of infection - says the director of the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, Professor Stanisław Winiarczyk. “These virus isolates are currently undergoing molecular characterization so that we have full knowledge of the subtype, type or variant of this virus. This will also be used for the epizootic investigation to determine the source of infection. At this point, we do not yet know where this virus came from, what path it traveled until it reached the cat. One thing we know for sure is that it is not a seagull virus.
                  ...
                  The Chief Veterinary Officer also informed about the sanitary and epizootic meeting that was convened today to discuss further proceedings in the case of cat infections.
                  ...

                  W 9 z 11 próbek pobranych od padłych kotów potwierdzono wirusa ptasiej grypy - poinformował Główny Lekarz Weterynarii. Badania przeprowadził Państwowy
                  "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                  -Nelson Mandela

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Translation Google

                    Source of infection still unknown. In Puławy, they are examining samples of dead cats

                    June 27, 2023 / 17:12

                    The National Veterinary Institute in Puławy is examining further samples of dead cats for the presence of bird flu. So far, 9 cases of H5N1 influenza in these animals have been confirmed in the country. Infected cats come from Lublin, Poznań and the Tri-City. And the next samples tested in Puławy come from, among others, Warsaw, Lublin, Olsztyn and Wrocław.
                    ...
                    What Should Cat Owners Concern About Pet Behavior? - The course of the disease is sudden. Animals die within 24-48 hours from the moment of infection - says Jarosław Wiciński, Deputy District Veterinary Officer in Puławy. – There is severe dehydration, lack of appetite. Uncoordinated movements may occur. These symptoms may not be specific, but the owner of this cat will sense anxiety. The course is violent, fast, sudden. So far, no cure has been found for this.

                    The disease also poses a threat to humans

                    In such situations, a red light should turn on for us and we should consult such behavior with a veterinarian. – Because it is a disease that also poses a threat to humans. Therefore, we must care for the health of cats as much as we care for our own - emphasizes Jarosław Wiciński.

                    - A cause for concern is, as with any disease, any problem with animals. You have to be a little worried about such situations - says Agnieszka Śniegocka, president of the Przyjazna Łapa Po Human Foundation for Animals. - If you have a cat, it's best not to let it out of the house. If there are cats that go out, taught almost from a small stay both at home and outside, I would sensitize the owners a bit and because of this disease I tried to get them used to staying at home, let them out as little as possible, so that there would be no unpleasant surprises later.
                    ...
                    " We must be patient ”

                    To what extent can this situation be common, and to what extent can these be individual cases in Poland? – I don't want to be a bad prophet – says Jarosław Wiciński. – On the example of African swine fever, when the first cases appeared in Poland in 2014, earlier in Lithuania in 2013, there were several cases. At present, half of the country is infected. Avian influenza is now a common disease in the European Union. There are trends in the development of this disease associated with bird flights, movement from various climate zones – in this way this virus is transmitted. For now, these are isolated cases among cats, but the situation is dynamic. Society is learning more and more about this disease and is starting to look more closely at its cats. We must be patient for now, but considering that it is flu, it is a disease that spreads very quickly in a very short time.

                    The results of the next samples tested at the Puławy institute are to be known at the end of the week.

                    LuG/ ed. DySch


                    Państwowy Instytut Weterynaryjny w Puławach bada kolejne próbki padłych kotów pod kątem występowania ptasiej grypy. Dotychczas w kraju potwierdzono 9
                    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                    -Nelson Mandela

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                    • #11
                      Expert on bird flu in cats: it's not just a problem for cat lovers

                      No case of transmission of the H5N1 avian influenza virus between cats and from cats to humans has ever been confirmed, Dr. hab. Piotr Rzymski, professor at the Medical University of Karol Marcinkowski in Poznań. However, he stipulates that the bird flu virus can change dynamically, there are more and more species of mammals that it has infected in the world, and a year ago it was proved that it was spreading between minks on a Spanish farm.

                      On Monday, the Main Veterinary Inspectorate announced the results of tests of further samples taken from cats from Lublin and Poznań. Nine out of eleven samples tested at the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy were positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Positive samples come from Poznań, Tri-City and Lublin. More cases were confirmed on Tuesday. Completely independently, the virus was found in one sample from a cat from the province of Mazowieckie, examined at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences - reminded the scientist.

                      'This clearly indicates that the cats were infected with the avian influenza virus and this was the cause of their death. This confirms earlier suspicions, as the symptoms reported in cats were consistent with those seen in the past in various cats infected with the H5N1 virus. These are shortness of breath and sometimes neurological symptoms' - he concluded.

                      He reminded that the H5N1 virus has been causing an epidemic among wild and farmed birds in Europe for three years. In the past, although very rarely, there have been cases of infection of felids of different species in the world with this virus. 'No cat-to-human transmission of H5N1 has ever been reported. Just because cats are infected does not mean that the virus can spread further. But that doesn't mean that the risk doesn't exist or can't suddenly appear,' emphasized Prof. Roman.

                      Commenting on the current situation, Prof. Roman points out that the number of cases is 'relatively high', given the few cases of H5N1 infection in domestic cats documented in the past. He also points out that the infections occurred 'in a short period of time'.

                      The scientist from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences emphasized that 'influenza viruses use the sialic acid present on their surface to infect cells. There are two main versions: one is predominant in birds and is used by avian influenza viruses such as H5N1, and the other is predominant in mammals. Therefore, mammals, including humans, have little susceptibility to H5N1 infections. However, when it does occur, the results can be tragic. Fewer than a thousand cases of H5N1 infection in humans have been recorded in the last 20 years, but half of them have not survived.'​

                      'Today we have a similar situation with cats. The H5N1 genotype has emerged capable of infecting cats that are seriously ill and have a high risk of dying,' he added.

                      'Since the H5N1 virus has been known for a long time, some may wonder why it has not been a threat to mammals such as cats in the past. Influenza viruses are very unstable, they mutate quickly, faster than SARS-CoV-2. That's because they don't have a +protein error-correction system+ that arises spontaneously when their genetic material is multiplied. In addition, genetic reassortment can occur in the world of influenza viruses. The genome of these pathogens consists of eight RNA segments, so when a cell is infected with different strains at the same time, such segments may be exchanged during the replication process. Reassortments are created, and the effects are difficult to predict. The virus can then become more pathogenic and even gain the ability to infect new species. Various reassortments between human, swine and avian influenza viruses resulted in the pandemic H1N1 strain that emerged in 2009.' - said the expert.

                      'The good news is that we don't currently have a large number of human cases of influenza. This reduces the risk that the human influenza virus will meet with the avian influenza virus, e.g. in the cat's body, reassorting and creating a version of the virus that would be dangerous and transmissible to humans. It would be much more dangerous if we had an autumn-winter season. This does not change the fact that it is urgent to determine the exact source of H5N1 infection in cats and to be careful, especially in contact with sick animals,' the expert concluded.

                      He also emphasized that although cats were infected with the H5N1 virus in Poland, there were no similar reports from neighboring countries. 'Infection with this virus can occur through respiratory or ingestion. The latter is more likely. The question is whether it is the result of eating contaminated poultry, wild birds, or both. Resolving these issues is important to end the current situation and prevent a public health risk, because H5N1 in domestic cats is not just a problem for cat owners.'​

                      Nigdy dotąd nie potwierdzono przypadku transmisji wirusa ptasiej grypy H5N1 pomiędzy kotami i z kotów na człowieka - mówi w rozmowie z PAP dr hab. Piotr Rzymski, profesor UM im. Karola Marcinkowskiego w Poznaniu. Zastrzega jednak, że wirus ptasiej grypy potrafi dynamicznie się zmieniać, na świecie notuje się coraz więcej gatunków ssaków, które zakaził, a rok temu dowiedziono, że rozprzestrzeniał się pomiędzy norkami na hiszpańskiej fermie.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bird flu also appears in cats that do not leave their homes. Avoid raw chicken

                        06/28/2023, 07:15
                        Marta Danielewicz

                        Maciej Gogulski, a veterinarian from Poznań, received three cats with symptoms of avian flu. Two of them are pets that don't leave their homes. But they were fed raw poultry meat.

                        Three of the nine samples tested by the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy came from Poznań and confirmed infection in cats with the H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu. More samples are sent every day. The results will be known in the next few days.

                        The University Veterinary Medicine Center of the Poznań University of Life Sciences sent two samples to Puławy last week, and a third one on Monday.

                        - We do not know the test results yet, but everything points to bird flu - says Maciej Gogulski, director of the Center and a member of the National Veterinary Council.
                        ...
                        Gogulski explains that all cases of cats suspected of being infected with avian flu were almost identical. None of the animals could be saved.

                        - This flu is very severe. Infected cats have unusual symptoms and do not respond to any medications. They show shortness of breath, nervous symptoms, have dilated pupils. Cats are agitated, have epileptic seizures - he lists.
                        ...
                        In Puławy, samples from the Tri-City and Lublin were also tested. This means that the range of occurrence of a dangerous disease covers virtually the whole of Poland.

                        Other laboratories, also in Europe, are continuing to study the genetic material of viruses. Recently, the H5N1 virus has decimated the black-headed gull species in Poland. Only in Wielkopolska in May, firefighters from the vicinity of Słupca fished out almost 200 dead birds from Lake Powidzkie . A few days later, 550 dead seagulls were fished out of the reservoir in Jeziorsk. And in June, also from Lake Zatorze in Konin, one hundred seagulls.

                        However, as the Chief Veterinary Officer informs, preliminary tests exclude the origin of the influenza virus, which has caused illness in gulls in recent weeks.

                        Indoor cats with bird flu symptoms

                        How did cats become infected with bird flu?

                        Initially, the CVO stated that there was no evidence that avian influenza virus infections occurred after eating raw meat of any species of legally traded slaughter animal obtained in approved slaughterhouses where ante- and post-mortem inspections were carried out.

                        However, when it turned out that cats were killed by a strain of bird flu, GLW recommended that cats be isolated and not allowed outside the house. Any release of the animal to the balcony or terrace should be preceded by washing the substrates with standard detergents.

                        In addition, it advises against contact with other animals, especially birds. It also recommends feeding cats only food from known sources.

                        But Maciej Gogulski argues that two of the three cats he treated with bird flu symptoms were indoor cats.

                        They were fed raw chicken meat. Therefore, with all these restrictions, we also recommend not to feed cats with raw meat, although of course we are not sure if this is the source of infection. We recommend disinfecting footwear, do not let cats out. You have to be careful in general, he says.


                        ...


                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        How do cats get avian flu? Still many question marks

                        Author : Anna Gumułka
                        2023-06-28 09:07

                        How do cats get avian flu? The virus is probably present in the environment, e.g. in bird droppings, and the alimentary route cannot be ruled out. There are still many question marks - points out the veterinarian, virologist Prof. Marcin Bańbura, director of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.
                        ...
                        Different "strategies" of the virus

                        - There is no one-size-fits-all model for the transmission of viruses from one species to another. It depends on the virus and what species it spreads to. During the bird flu pandemic in Asia 10 years ago, it happened that tigers became infected after eating a large amount of raw chicken meat from farms where bird flu was found - said in an interview with CowZdrowiu.pl Prof. Banbura.

                        - Indoor outdoor cats may also become infected after eating raw bird meat, but this is probably not the main route. They probably bring the virus from the environment, and where does it come from? Probably from infected birds that excrete it in their feces. The alimentary route cannot be ruled out, although I do not think that cats are infected en masse by eating wild birds - added the expert.

                        Prof. Bańbura noted that the pathogenicity of a given virus may be different in different species.

                        - A virus that is not so dangerous in a bird, when transferred to another host - in this case a cat - can be highly pathogenic. According to the information that reaches us, the prognosis is unfortunately very bad in the case of a domestic cat falling ill - emphasized Prof. Marcin Bańbura.

                        More research on H5N1 is needed

                        - To know exactly what we are dealing with now, a detailed analysis of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase is necessary. A virus, of course, can mutate, but mutation is not the only way it changes. There can also be exchange of segments between different strains, recombination, gene sorting, and then the properties of the virus can change almost overnight. Mutation is a slower process, explains the scientist.

                        - The nature of their internal genes also determines which species get sick. Now felines are sick, not e.g. dogs, it is necessary to find out why. As you can see, we still have a lot of question marks - sums up prof. Banbura.

                        Jak koty zakażają się ptasią grypą? Prawdopodobnie wirus jest obecny w środowisku, np. w odchodach ptaków, nie można też wykluczyć drogi pokarmowej. Wciąż jest wiele znaków zapytania – wskazuje lekarz weterynarii, wirusolog prof. Marcin Bańbura, dyrektor Instytutu Medycyny Weterynaryjnej Szkoły Głównej Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego w Warszawie.

                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Poland Vet. Chief: At least 16 Cats Confirmed H5N1 Positive From Multiple Cities - More Tests Pending




                          #17,516

                          We have a brief update from the Chief Veterinary Office in Poland - and while the math is a little fuzzy - it confirms the outbreak of H5N1 among cats in Poland is widespread. Of 33 samples received by the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy - 19 have been tested - and 15 were positive for H5N1.

                          Another positive test has been reported by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (from Warsaw). While this report only mentions 16 positive findings, they indicate 20 outbreaks have been confirmed, which suggests other samples have tested positive in other labs.


                          Strikingly, positive results have come from as far afield as Gdańsk, Gdynia, Pruszcz Gdański, Lublin, Bydgoszcz and Poznań.
                          While not officially confirmed, Pathfinder on FluTrackers has a media report indicating that two indoor cats in Poznań have tested positive for the virus, along with a warning not to feed cats raw chicken.


                          The translated official statement follows:
                          Announcements 2023-06-28

                          With reference to the announcement of June 26. The Chief Veterinary Officer informs that to the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy to this day until By 3:00 pm, a total of 33 samples from cats from Gdańsk, Gdynia, Poznań, Lublin, Pruszcz Gdański, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, Bydgoszcz, Wrocław and the vicinity of Zamość were received.

                          Positive results were obtained in 15 of the 19 samples already tested. All positive results indicate the genetic material of the H5N1 influenza virus and come from Gdańsk, Gdynia, Pruszcz Gdański, Lublin, Bydgoszcz and Poznań.

                          In addition, one of the samples tested at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, from Warsaw, was positive for H5N1 influenza, which means 20 confirmed outbreaks in the country.

                          Any new guidelines as well as announcements in the case will be regularly published on the official website (
                          https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/main/komunikaty ), in order to provide you with current information .



                          For now, the exact route of infection isn't known (and may vary from one event to the next), and we've not seen any detailed genetic analysis of the virus.

                          Stay tuned.​

                          All medical discussions are for educational purposes. I am not a doctor, just a retired paramedic. Nothing I post should be construed as specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem, see your physician.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Translation Google

                            Already 16 outbreaks of bird flu in cats. Animals can become infected

                            ALEKSANDRA SOBIERAJ
                            June 29, 2023 10:49

                            From the next announcement of the Chief Veterinary Officer, we learn that there are already 16 confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in cats in Poland. "This is quite an unusual situation" - emphasizes Prof. Piotr Rzymski, a medical biologist from Poznań. The scientist also explains what are the most likely ways that cats become infected with avian flu.
                            ...
                            As the Chief Veterinary Officer assures, the situation related to infections is constantly monitored. In the announcement issued yesterday late afternoon, the GLW informed that we have 16 confirmed outbreaks of avian flu in the country. Cats can become infected with the H5N1 virus either by droplet infection or by ingestion (eating wild bird meat, raw poultry meat, or licking the faeces of infected birds). As assessed by Dr. Piotr Rzymski, a medical biologist from the Department of Environmental Medicine of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences, the latter way is definitely more likely.
                            ...
                            According to the scientist, cats are particularly at risk of H5N1 infection at a time when there has been an epidemic in Europe for three years - due to the fact that they are often in contact with bird meat. Outgoing and free-living individuals often hunt birds, and besides, many owners feed their animals with raw food, also based on bird meat.

                            – Infection can occur both through the consumption of wild birds, which are hunted by cats that are freely released outside the house, and poultry, which are obtained by animals fed with raw meat or looking for food scraps in garbage cans. In addition, H5N1 is excreted with feces, so contact with them can also lead to infection - says the professor of UMP.
                            ...
                            The expert emphasizes that for now there is no possibility of transmission of the virus from a cat to another cat, dog or human. – We have cases of infection in various places in Poland. So they are all independent introductions; there is no proven case of an infected cat spreading the virus further. These animals became infected independently of each other, but probably from a common source, given that we are talking about cases that occurred over a short period of time, he explains.

                            In his opinion, it is important to determine as soon as possible whether the source is wild or farmed birds. - The H5N1 virus can occur in both - explains the scientist. “Clarifying this issue is extremely important to slow the emergence of new cases and limit further risks to public health.

                            – It is also extremely important to have a detailed history of cats with confirmed H5N1 infection. Determining whether it is a free-roaming cat, going only to the garden, or staying only in the house. Determining what the sick cat has eaten recently, whether it was raw poultry meat or perhaps a dead bird. If there are any remnants of such food, it would be good to examine them. We know that the veterinary services are conducting an epidemiological investigation. We are waiting for new information - concludes the scientist.

                            Z kolejnego komunikatu Głównego Lekarza Weterynarii dowiadujemy się, że w Polsce jest już 16 potwierdzonych ognisk ptasiej grypy H5N1 u kotów. „To dosyć nietypowa sytuacja” – podkreśla prof. Piotr Rzymski, biolog medyczny z Poznania. Naukowiec wyjaśnia też, jakie są najbardziej prawdopodobne drogi, którymi koty zakażają się ptasia grypą.
                            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                            -Nelson Mandela

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Translation Google

                              Avian influenza virus recognized in cats



                              The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate confirmed information about the H5N1 virus, the so-called. bird flu that affects cats.

                              Fever, shortness of breath, and neurological symptoms may indicate a bird flu infection. In this case, you should seek help from a veterinarian. Outdoor cats are most at risk of potential contact with the avian influenza virus. Therefore, in the current situation, it will be safest not to let them outside, so that they do not have contact with other animals, including birds. It is recommended to feed quality controlled food, e.g. canned food. The virus is present in the environment, e.g. in bird droppings. It can be brought home on shoes, so keeping shoes in a locked cupboard will be an additional preventive measure.




                              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                              -Nelson Mandela

                              Comment

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