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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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  • #31
    The ministry responds to media reports


    We are in no danger. Information about the bird flu virus in poultry meat is untrue, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Ciecióra assured today, referring to media reports that the virus detected in raw meat was responsible for the recent cases of cat deaths.

    - We are the largest poultry producer in Europe. We export poultry worldwide with great success. Polish plants producing poultry, processing poultry are the most modern in Europe - said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Ciecióra during the press conference.

    It indicated that 20 percent of poultry meat production in Europe belongs to the Polish sector, and Polish poultry processing plants are the most modern in Europe.

    According to him, 'we are not in any danger'.

    - Information about the bird flu virus in poultry meat is untrue, no research confirms it. The media reports are misleading

    - informed the deputy minister of agriculture.

    - We will fight for the good name of our farmers, who make every effort to ensure that the quality of this food is at the highest level - assured the deputy minister.

    During the conference, the recording of the virologist, prof. Laboratory of Virology at the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University Krzysztof Pyrć, in which he pointed out that the research has not shown that cats have been infected with the bird flu virus in recent weeks through infected meat from Polish poultry.​

    Nie grozi nam żadne niebezpieczeństwo. Informacje o wirusie ptasiej grypy w mięsie drobiowym są nieprawdziwe - zapewnił dzisiaj wiceminister rolnictwa Krzysztof Ciecióra

    Comment


    • #32
      Translation Google

      Prof. Pyrć: We have not demonstrated that cats are infected with the H5N1 virus from Polish poultry

      EH, ME 07/05/2023, 10:49 |update: 11:17

      In the studies, we have not shown that cats have been infected with the bird flu virus in recent weeks through infected meat from Polish poultry, virologist Prof. Laboratory of Virology at the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University Krzysztof Pyrć.

      – A press material has been published which suggests that the results of research conducted by our scientific teams have shown that cats have been infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in recent weeks through contaminated meat from Polish poultry. I wanted to say that this is not true, we have not proven it - said prof. Pyrć from the reproduced recording during Wednesday's press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture.

      He added that only one of the five food samples that have been tested has been shown to contain both nucleic acid and infectious H5N1 virus.

      However, this does not mean that the poultry was the source of the infection. However, it actually indicates that this path should be very well examined by the relevant services, so as to ensure not only safety for animals and people in Poland, but also safety for the poultry industry, so as to avoid both image and economic losses in the future he stressed.

      Portal informacyjny TVP Info to najnowsze informacje i wideo. Zawsze aktualne wiadomości z kraju i ze świata, transmisje on-line i relacje na żywo.

      "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


      • #33
        Translation Google

        Avian flu in cats. Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć: The risk of human infection from a cat is not zero

        The data we have from the previous twenty-odd years speak of the mortality rate of people infected with avian flu at the level of 60%. - said in an interview with Jacek Nizinkiewicz, prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, a virologist from the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University.

        Publication: 07/06/2023 09:26

        - Avian flu is spreading all over the world, fortunately among birds for the time being. For two years we have had quite a big problem among these animals - said Prof. Pyrć when asked if we are currently facing an epidemic of bird flu.

        Avian flu - do people have anything to be afraid of?
        Is bird flu dangerous to humans?

        "If we get infected, it's quite dangerous." The data we have from the previous twenty-odd years speaks of a mortality rate of 60%. But there is also good news - it is very difficult to get infected - explained the virologist.
        ...
        "Fortunately, we don't have that effective cat-to-cat transmission yet, that would be bad news." On the other hand, a dozen or possibly several dozen cases of feline infections have been found. However, all the time, everything indicates that cats do not infect each other, so we cannot talk about cat flu in any way. They just get infected from birds, he said.
        ...
        - Avian flu is not a problem for us, because it is a virus that feels great at higher temperatures, such as in the body of birds. ...when it infects mammals, it infects cells that are deep in our lungs, so a sick animal, a sick person doesn't really produce much of this virus outside, and secondly, for it to become infected, this virus must get in really deep. Mammal-to-mammal transmission is very inefficient and in most cases it is bird-to-mammal transmission, he explained.

        There has not yet been a case of transmission (bird flu from a cat) to humans, but the risk is not zero

        As prof. The more troubling question is "how does the virus get to cats". - In our opinion, it is necessary to check whether meat is not this carrier, meat to which humans also have access, because these paths may also be dangerous for humans in the future - he added.

        Avian flu in cats. Can a sick cat infect a human?
        And can a child get bird flu from an infected cat if it scratches it, for example?

        - I wouldn't overdo it with this scratch. We have not recorded any infection in humans yet, despite the fact that cats are in close contact, so you can see that the risk is small, but it is not zero - said Prof. Pyrć, who advised to wash your hands after contact with a sick animal and keep your distance so that "the face should not be directly in the area of ​​its mouth".
        ...

        Dane, które mamy z poprzednich dwudziestu kilku lat mówią o śmiertelności ludzi zakażonych ptasią grypą na poziomie 60 proc. - mówił w rozmowie z Jackiem Nizink


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

        Sanepid monitored the health of Gdańsk residents whose cats died of bird flu

        Four owners of cats in Gdańsk, who lost their lives after falling ill with avian flu, have been preventively contacted by the Sanepid for the last two weeks. Fortunately, no symptoms of the disease were detected in them. The sanitary inspection reassures that the risk of transmission of infection from animal to human is negligible. Three scientists, including two from Gdańsk, who identified the virus that affects cats, suspect that the source of infection is food. They appealed to state services to test meat in Poland for H5N1 flu.

        05.07.2023

        ...
        What is the position of the Chief Sanitary Inspector?

        On Monday, July 4 , the Chief Sanitary Inspector issued a communication regarding the recently increased number of cases of cat infection. The disease is characterized by respiratory and neurological symptoms and high mortality, and veterinary services indicate the virus of highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1 as the cause of animal infection .

        The Chief Sanitary Inspector informed that preventive measures have been taken to prevent the occurrence of this disease in humans, e.g. by extending epidemiological supervision to the owners or guardians of cats confirmed to be infected with the avian influenza virus.

        What actions have been taken in Gdańsk?

        - In Gdańsk, we knew much earlier about cases of bird flu in cats and took action faster - said on Wednesday, July 5 , Zbigniew Zawadzki , spokesman for the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station (WSSE) in Gdańsk.

        Employees of the Pomeranian Sanepid received telephone numbers from the veterinary services to four owners of cats infected in Gdańsk.

        What was the epidemiological surveillance of these people like in practice?

        - Before there are no symptoms of the disease, it is enough to contact us by phone. Every day or every other day, an employee of the sanitary inspection called the owner whose cat had died. He asked about his health. In Gdańsk, this epidemiological supervision has already ended. For 2 weeks, we have not found any symptoms of bird flu in humans - added Zbigniew Zawadzki.

        For 14 days, a person subject to epidemiological supervision is obliged to monitor their health and body temperature. There is no ban on leaving the house if you do not show symptoms, but it is recommended to "limit social contacts" and switch to remote work.

        Who is most at risk of avian flu infection?

        The spokesman of the WSEZ explains that, in principle, bird flu does not pose a threat to humans.

        - Cases of a human contracting avian flu are extremely rare. However, if this happens, the course of the disease is severe and there is a high mortality rate . Hence, the sanitary inspection, as an institution guarding public health, takes preventive measures even in the event of a minimal threat - explains Zbigniew Zawadzki.

        GIS indicates that human infection occurs only as a result of direct and prolonged contact with sick birds. Therefore, the possibility of infection mainly concerns people professionally in contact with poultry and wild birds.

        The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate confirmed last week 16 outbreaks of bird flu in cats in the country. Such data come from tested samples, e.g. from Gdańsk, Gdynia, Pruszcz Gdański, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Poznań and Warsaw.

        What do scientists say about the origin of the virus?

        A few days ago, thanks to the cooperation of three research groups led by Dr. Łukasz Rąbalski (University of Gdańsk and the Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology), Dr. hab. Maciej Grzybek (Medical University of Gdańsk) and prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pyrcia (Jagiellonian University), managed to obtain the first sequence of the bird flu virus that infects cats in Poland.

        These scientists stated that one of the likely routes of transmission of the pathogen to cats is via food .

        - This is indicated by: (a) the sudden appearance of the virus in indoor and outdoor cats in different parts of the country; (b) no outbreaks of infection with cat-to-cat transmission; (c) analysis of the genome sequence of the virus collected from the cat showed no drastic changes compared to the reference sequences, suggesting the emergence of a new strain of influenza virus that effectively infects cats; (d) the sequence similarity of viruses that have been isolated from cats in different parts of Poland is very high, which suggests a single source of infection; (e) discussions with cat owners suggested raw meat may be the source, they assessed.

        Dr. Łukasz Rąbalski, dr hab. Maciej Grzybek and prof. Krzysztof Pyrć explained that in order to initially verify this theory, they asked the owners of sick cats to send meat samples that the animals ate.

        - As a result, we received five meat samples for testing and conducted molecular tests for the presence of the virus. The analysis showed that one of the 5 samples contained the virus . Further analysis showed that not only the genetic material of the virus is present in the meat, but also the infectious virus - we were able to isolate the virus in cell cultures, they explained.

        According to the scientists, in this situation it seems reasonable to appeal to the veterinary services and sanitary inspection to examine the meat available in Poland and consider including meat testing for H5N1 influenza.

        - This is crucial not only because of cats, but also because this virus is a threat to human life. In addition, the Polish poultry industry accounts for almost 20 percent. the EU market , and the estimated value of meat exports is over EUR 3 billion. It is worth imagining the consequences for this sector of the economy if it turned out that contaminated meat actually ended up in France , Italy or Germany , say three scientists.

        What are the current recommendations of the Sanepid for cat owners?

        avoid direct contact with sick poultry, dead wild birds and objects with traces of bird droppings
        after coming home, immediately protect your shoes from access by cats
        clean shoes each time you return home, after being in outdoor conditions where they could be contaminated with bird droppings
        disinfect the surface where the shoes stood
        practice good hygiene routines, such as washing your hands with soap and warm water, especially when you get home, before preparing a meal
        maintain hygienic conditions when preparing meals for cats
        If your pet shows signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately
        in case of disturbing flu-like symptoms - contact your doctor
        follow the announcements of the Chief Veterinary Officer published on the website of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate .

        Robert Pietrzak
        robert.pietrzak@gdansk.pl



        Z czterema właścicielami kotów w Gdańsku, które straciły życie po zachorowaniu na ptasią grypę, kontaktował się prewencyjnie przez ostatnie dwa tygodnie Sanepid. Na szczęście, nie wykryto u nich żadnych objawów choroby. Inspekcja sanitarna uspokaja, że ryzyko przeniesienia zakażenia ze zwierzęcia na człowieka jest znikome. Trzech naukowców, w tym dwóch z Gdańska, którzy zidentyfikowali wirusa atakującego koty, podejrzewa, że źródłem zakażenia jest pokarm. Zaapelowali do służb państwowych o testowanie mięsa w Polsce w kierunku 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


        • #34
          Translation Google

          Prof. Pyrć and Dr. Grzesiowski for "Wprost". Experts fear that the avian influenza virus will spread between mammals

          "Meat is the most likely vector that transferred the avian influenza virus to cats," said Professor Krzysztof Pyrć from the Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University in an interview with "Wprost". The virologist, together with other specialists, conducted molecular tests for the presence of the A/H5N1 pathogen in meat eaten by sick animals.

          Experts examined five samples of frozen poultry meat provided by owners of infected cats. In one of them, they found the bird flu virus. The pathogen was detected not only at the level of molecular detection (presence of genetic material). It was also possible to isolate it on cell cultures (infectious form). What does this mean in practice? As Professor Krzysztof Pyrć points out in an interview with "Wprost", this state of affairs "raises" one fundamental question: was the food analyzed the main source of infection in cats? Unfortunately, specialists do not have the knowledge and tools that would allow them to give a clear answer. It is not known when the meat was actually infected with the bird flu virus.

          Raw meat is a possible source of avian flu infection

          The thesis that raw meat is the main source of infection of cats with bird flu seems to be the most credible at present. To confirm or exclude it, you need to take further steps and examine the meat available on the Polish market. professor Krzysztof Pyrć emphasized in the conversation:

          On our part, there was a great request to the veterinary services and the sanepid to investigate this topic. Because there are strong indications that raw meat is the source of these infections, which may pose a risk to cats and humans [...]. We urge you to check the meat sold in stores and supermarkets and verify these connections. Let's hope that the analysis would give negative results, but we definitely need to think about this issue.

          The matter is worrying, so it should be clarified as soon as possible. What can cat owners do now to minimize the risk of infection? The recommendations issued so far have not changed. You should limit the release of pets outside and avoid raw meat. It is also important to ensure that animals do not come into contact with mud or other human-borne substances on shoes . It is worth noting that the transfer of the bird flu virus is far from effective, which means that the risk of infecting dogs or other pets by cats is minimal at the moment.

          What are the first signs that a cat has contracted the virus? Owners should be concerned about sudden changes in the animal's behavior - lethargy, lack of appetite, malaise or drowsiness. In the later stage of the infection, symptoms from the nervous system appear, such as convulsions, clumsiness or muscle tremors.

          The avian influenza virus is increasingly adapting to the mammalian organism

          Humans can become infected with the bird flu virus . However, it should be noted that the transmission of the pathogen between mammals is currently very unlikely. It does not yet have the ability to transfer, for example from cat to human.

          The biggest threat comes from the fact that the virus is constantly changing. It's not the same pathogen as it was two or three years ago. It adapts better and better to the organism of mammals, including humans, noted Professor Krzysztof Pyrć.

          Therefore, as Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, an expert of the Supreme Medical Council on epidemic threats, adds, everything should be done to prevent infections among animals other than birds. Each such "jump" can be a kind of stimulus for the virus to mutate further. It is worth noting that for two years we have been observing increased activity of the A/H5N1 pathogen, which is quite worrying. In an interview with "Wprost", Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski said:

          It may happen that patients with symptoms of respiratory tract infection, which will be very difficult to diagnose, will be admitted to hospitals. At the moment, the first European recommendations for medical facilities have been published to take into account the possibility of avian influenza in humans. One of the indications is to conduct a very detailed interview with people who show flu-like symptoms. It should be emphasized that in humans, bird flu has a very severe course. So it's worth being vigilant.

          ...
          „Mięso jest najbardziej prawdopodobnym wektorem, który przeniósł wirusa ptasiej grypy na koty” – powiedział w rozmowie z „Wprost” profesor Krzysztof Pyrć z Małopolskiego Centrum Biotechnologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Wirusolog wspólnie z innymi specjalistami prowadził badania molekularne w kierunku obecności patogenu A/H5N1 w mięsie spożywanym przez chore zwierzęta.
          "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


          • #35
            ECDC Update On H5N1 In Cats - Poland




            #17,536

            Official updates have been slow to come from Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer over the past 7 days, with apparently a lot of damage control going on. The GLW's first update in a week (see translation below) is mostly concerned with what they are calling `journalistic provocations' by the media, although they also confirm 3 more positive tests since June 30th.

            Out of concern for public trust in our institution, the Chief Veterinary Officer would like to inform you that in recent days there have been two attempts at journalistic provocations related to the intention to manipulate the determination of the source of the disease occurring among cats. According to the information provided by the local veterinary inspection bodies of the Lesser Poland Voivodship and the PIW in Puławy, food samples delivered for laboratory tests, e.g. to the laboratory in Krakow and Puławy were delivered by active journalists who did not disclose the source of the materials provided for testing.

            Any attempts to manipulate the activities of state authorities may make it impossible to determine the actual cause of the disease. The Chief Veterinary Officer would like to emphasize that detecting the source of feline influenza requires calm analysis and investigation of the truth. At the same time, GLW would like to inform you that from June 30. 14 samples were tested at the National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza, of which 3 samples from sick cats were positive for the genetic material of the H5N1 virus.

            Poland is a major exporter of poultry to the EU, and anything that calls into question the safety of their products is an economic and political nightmare. A certain amount of bureaucratic push-back is to be expected.
            The ECDC has published - for the second week running - a summary of what is known, and an updated risk assessment in today's Communicable Disease Threats Report. As we saw a week ago, there is too little presently known about the situation to make a full assessment.

            1. Avian influenza in domestic cats - Poland -2023

            Overview:

            Update On 4 July 2023, media sources from Poland published the study of the Polish virologist Prof Krzysztof Pyrć and two other researchers in the country who tested five samples of meat collected from some owners of sick or dead cats. One of the samples tested positive for A(H5N1) influenza virus.

            On 5 July 2023, Polish authorities informed ECDC that a total of 45 samples from sick or dead cats were tested, of which 24 were positive for influenza A(H5N1) virus. Furthermore, Polish authorities mentioned that 13 cats were fed with raw poultry meat.

            On 6 July 2023, media sources reported that in Italy (Lombardy region) five dogs and one cat in a poultry farm tested positive for influenza A(H5N1) virus. The poultry farm is experiencing an outbreak of avian flu. In December 2022, one cat tested positive for influenza A(H5N1) virus in France according to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety – ANSES (see
            link).

            Summary

            Since 23 June 2023, media sources reported on several deaths of domestic cats (at least 70) in Poland for which investigations are ongoing. On 26 June, the Polish Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) announced in a press release that nine samples tested in the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy, were positive for A(H5N1) influenza virus. Preliminary studies have ruled out a connection to the avian influenza outbreaks in seagulls, that Poland registered in recent weeks. No source of infection has been identified yet. An intersectoral meeting between animal and human public health services took place on 26 June.
            The press release by the Polish CVO included advice to the public to prevent the contact of pet cats with other animals, including keeping them inside homes and avoid contact with footwear used outside. Enhanced hand hygiene for all pet cat owners is also advised.

            On 28 June 2023, the Polish CVO issued a
            press release notifying about a total of 16 cat samples which tested positive for influenza A(H5N1) in the country. The positive samples originated from many cities in Poland (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Pruszcz Gdański, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Poznań and Warsaw).

            On 30 June 2023, the Polish CVO updated in a
            press release that 29 samples were tested, of which 20 were from different cities in the country (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Poznań, Lublin, Pruszcz Gdański, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, Bydgoszcz, Wrocław, Rzeszów County, and the vicinity of Zamość).

            The genome of the detected virus from cats in Poland is available on GISAID (EPI_ISL_17949824) and exhibits two mutations, molecular markers to mammal adaptation. Genetic data suggest that the sick cats may have been exposed to the same source of infection.


            Media sources from Poland cite the director of the National Veterinary Institute in Puławy stating that, 'they have detected two mutations that indicate that the A(H5N1) virus is evolving to multiply more easily in mammals'.

            The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
            issued a statement on the Polish cat outbreak mentioning that the severe and rapid course of the infection is consistent with reports of A(H5N1) infection in the Felidae family, and noting that several cases of infection in cats with influenza A(H5N1) have been reported from Europe and North America in the context of the ongoing panzootic.
            WOAH stressed the need for more investigations and stated that since the cases include both stray and pet cats, exposure to sick wild birds is not considered a likely transmission mode. In addition, the wide geographical distribution of cases suggests that the primary mode of spread in these cases is not cat-to-cat transmission but rather some other kind of common source. The statement also mentions the need to isolate any suspected cases from other pets due to potential shedding from the gastrointestinal tract, and the need for appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the handlers of such animals.

            ECDC assessment:

            Several uncertainties currently exist regarding the source of infection, the potential of feline-to-feline and feline-to- human transmission of the particular A(H5N1) influenza virus strain, as well as regarding the severity of the disease. Taking into consideration the information and genomic data available until now and the fact that no human cases have been reported so far related to this event, ECDC assesses the current risk to the general public as low.

            However, the risk is considered moderate for persons exposed to sick and/or dead cats confirmed with A(H5N1) infection, particularly if they belong to a vulnerable population group (e.g. immunocompromised people). Considering the existing uncertainties, this assessment is preliminary and will be reviewed as soon as more information becomes available.

            Actions:https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2023/...ts-poland.html

            ECDC is monitoring this event and has contacted Polish public health authorities and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for further investigation.




            Hopefully we'll get some better answers in the days ahead.



            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


            • #36
              Seven of the polish cat sequence have, eventually, made onto the Nextstrain tree. They all lie on the HA S530N sub-branch and are identical except .../h253/ which also has V11A. On NA they lie on S70G and are the same. There are also a few additional AA changes on NS and the RNP strands.

              Edit:
              I am not sure how to tie GISAID (EPI_ISL_17949824) submission number, quoted in Mike's post, to the A/domesticcat/Poland/xxxxx/2023 sequence so I am not sure which sequence they are talking about. Can anyone help me with this?
              Last edited by JJackson; July 8, 2023, 07:26 AM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Jagiellonian University in Kraków

                Kraków and Gdańsk researchers investigate the spread of bird flu in Poland

                ... The study was carried out by Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć from the Jagiellonian University Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Dr hab. Maciej Grzybek from the Medical University of Gdańsk and Dr Łukasz Rąbalski from the University of Gdańsk.

                The assessment following numerous cases of transmission of the H5N1 virus from birds to cats shows that one of the probable ways of the virus’ spread is through food. This claim is based on the sudden increase in detection of the virus in both indoor and outdoor cats as well as lack of cat-to-cat transmission outbreaks. Additionally, an analysis of the genome sequence of the virus taken from a cat has not demonstrated significant changes in comparison to reference sequences, pointing away from the emergence of a new strain that is more effective in infecting cats. Moreover, the similarity in genome sequences of the viral samples collected in various parts of Poland is very high, suggesting a single source of contagion. The researchers also say their interviews with cat owners indicated that raw meat might be that source. ...



                Comment


                • #38
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	1 Size:	66.7 KB ID:	976609
                  /https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caracal
                  ----------------------------------------------------

                  Translation Google

                  Cat flu in the Elbląg district. The test confirmed the infection

                  11.07.2023, 14:45:00Text size: A A A


                  Cat flu has reached the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. The first two cases of infection were recorded. One of them in the Elbląg district.

                  It is about a caracal bred by an inhabitant of the Elbląg poviat. The owner ordered a test when the animal died and they confirmed infection with the H5N1 virus. Further tests are being carried out to determine how this infection occurred. This is so far the first and only such case in the Elbląg region

                  - Alicja Czebiołko, District Veterinary Officer in Elbląg.


                  According to unofficial information, the cat was in a special enclosure and could have had contact with birds. The second case of cat flu in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship, according to Radio Olsztyn, was reported in the Iława poviat. It's about the domestic cat.

                  So far, no human cases of influenza A/H5N1/ infection have been registered in Poland. The risk of transmission of infection from a sick cat to a human is negligible, argues the Chief Sanitary Inspector. Also in the case of caracal owners, the tests did not confirm the transmission. However, the health department in all confirmed cases of influenza in cats also supervises their owners.

                  We remind cat owners to observe hygiene rules. It is also recommended to give up letting cats outside or feeding animals with raw meat, especially from an unknown source.

                  https://www.info.elblag.pl/37,74310,Kocia-grypa-w-powiecie-elblaskim-Badanie-potwierdzilo-zakazenie.html​

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

                  The first case of "cat flu" in the Elbląg region

                  2023-07-12
                  12:15

                  The first case of cat flu appeared in the Elbląg district, concerning a caracal belonging to a private person. The animal had no contact with other cats.
                  ...
                  - Caracal was examined at the veterinary institute in Puławy, an investigation is underway to determine the causes of the disease - informs Alicja Czebiołko, the district veterinarian in Elbląg. He adds that the caracal had no contact with other cats.
                  ...
                  https://www.portel.pl/wiadomosci/pierwszy-przypadek-kociej-grypy-w-regionie-elblaskim/135075​
                  "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


                  • #39
                    Source: https://gazetaolsztynska.pl/950828,K...achorowan.html

                    Cat flu has reached Warmia and Mazury. The first cases of the disease were recorded
                    2023-07-16 08:30:08 (last update: 2023-07-14 16:54:35)

                    Cat flu has reached our province. The first cases of disease in these animals have been confirmed.

                    — In the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship, two cases of avian influenza were found in cats in the Elbląg and Iława poviats. The tasks of the Veterinary Inspection include monitoring zoonoses and zoonotic pathogens in animals. The State Sanitary Inspection covers persons exposed to contact with an animal infected with virus A (H5N1). The purpose of epidemiological supervision conducted by the State Sanitary Inspection authorities is to determine the possible occurrence of symptoms compatible with influenza in a person who has been in contact with a sick animal, Joanna Równiak from the Epidemiology Department of the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Olsztyn informed us.

                    She added that epidemiological supervision includes: conducting an interview by the PIS; obliging the exposed person to conduct self-observation for a period of 10 days from the date of the last contact with a sick animal; immediately inform the Poviat Sanitary and Epidemiological Station competent for the place of residence about the occurrence of symptoms.

                    — Symptoms that may occur in the event of possible illness after contact with a sick animal include fever or low-grade fever, malaise, headache, muscle and joint pain, rhinitis, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath. So far, no mammal-to-human or human-to-human transmission of the influenza A(H5N1) virus has been observed, emphasizes the representative of the Olsztyn Sanitary Inspectorate.
                    The announcement in connection with the detection of cases of infection among domestic cats caused by the A/H5N1/ flu virus was published by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate:

                    “Recently, veterinary services have recorded an increased number of cases of infection of domestic cats. The disease is characterized by respiratory and neurological symptoms and high mortality. According to the Announcement of the Chief Veterinary Officer, the results of the tests indicate the virus of highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1/ as the cause of animal infection,” reads the publication.
                    The State Sanitary Inspection announced in a communiqué that it had taken preventive measures to prevent the occurrence of this disease in humans, i.a. by extending epidemiological supervision to the owners/guardians of cats confirmed to be infected with the avian influenza virus.

                    — Human infection is extremely rare and only as a result of direct and prolonged contact with sick birds. The possibility of infection mainly concerns people professionally in contact with poultry and wild birds. So far, no cases of human infection with influenza A/H5N1/ have been registered in Poland, GIS inspectors assure.

                    The health department has also published recommendations for cat owners.
                    1. Direct contact with sick poultry, dead wild birds and objects with traces of bird droppings should be avoided.
                    2. After coming home, you must immediately protect your shoes from access by cats; clean shoes, each time after returning home, after staying in outdoor conditions where they could be contaminated with bird droppings.
                    3. Practice good hygiene routines, such as washing your hands with soap and warm water, especially when you get home and before preparing a meal.
                    4. If your pet shows symptoms of the disease, you must immediately report it to the veterinarian.
                    5. In the event of disturbing flu-like symptoms, you should contact your doctor and follow the announcements of the Chief Veterinary Officer published on the website of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate.

                    Health inspectors emphasize that the risk of transmission of infection from a sick cat to humans is negligible. The owners of dead cats with confirmed infection with A/H5N1/ are contacted preventively by employees of poviat sanitary and epidemiological stations.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Source: https://www.who.int/emergencies/dise...em/2023-DON476


                      Influenza A(H5N1) in cats – Poland
                      16 July 2023

                      Situation at a glance

                      On 27 June 2023, the IHR National Focal Point of Poland notified WHO of unusual deaths in cats across the country. As of 11 July, 47 samples have been tested from 46 cats and one captive caracal, of which 29 were found to be positive for influenza A (H5N1). Fourteen cats are reported to have been euthanized, and a further 11 died, with the last death reported on 30 June. The source of the exposure of cats to the virus is currently unknown and epizootic investigations are ongoing.

                      Sporadic infection of cats with A(H5N1) has previously been reported, but this is the first report of a high numbers of infected cats over a wide geographical area within a country.

                      As of 12 July, no human contacts of A(H5N1) positive cats have reported symptoms, and the surveillance period for all contacts is now complete.

                      The risk of human infections following exposure to infected cats at the national level is assessed as low for the general population, and low to moderate for cat owners and those occupationally exposed to H5N1-infected cats (such as veterinarians) without the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.

                      WHO continues to monitor the situation and work in close collaboration with the animal and public health sectors, regional agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), and other partner agencies in Poland.

                      Description of situation

                      On 27 June 2023, the IHR National Focal Point of Poland notified WHO of unusual deaths in cats across the country. As of 11 July 2023, a total of 47 samples have been tested from 46 cats and one caracal (Caracal caracal). Of these 47 samples, 29 (62%) were positive for influenza A(H5N1). Positive samples were reported from 13 geographical areas within the country.

                      Some cats developed severe symptoms including difficulty in breathing, bloody diarrhoea, and neurological signs, with rapid deterioration and death in some cases. In total, 20 cats had neurological signs, 19 had respiratory signs, and 17 had both neurological and respiratory signs.

                      Fourteen cats are reported to have been euthanized, and a further 11 died. Post-mortem exams on a small number of cats are suggestive of pneumonia. According to the information available, the last known death among cats was reported on 30 June .

                      Genomic analysis of 19 viruses sequenced from this outbreak showed that they all belonged to the H5 clade 2.3.4.4b and were highly related to each other. Also, the viruses are similar to influenza A(H5N1) clade 2.3.4.4b viruses which have been circulating in wild birds and which caused outbreaks in poultry recently in Poland.

                      The source of exposure of cats to the virus is currently unknown and epizootic investigations are ongoing. There are several possibilities for the source of infection, among which the cats could have had direct or indirect contact with infected birds or their environments, ate infected birds, or ate food contaminated with the virus. Authorities are investigating all potential sources and to date have not ruled out any. Of the 25 cats for which the information is available, two were outdoor cats, 18 were indoor with access to a balcony, terrace, or backyard, and five were indoor cats with no access to the outside environment. Seven cats are reported to have had the opportunity for contact with wild birds.

                      This is the first report of high numbers of cats infected with avian influenza A(H5N1) spread over a wide geographical area within any country. Sporadic infections in domestic cats with A(H5N1) viruses, including A(H5N1) H5 clade 2.3.4.4b viruses, have been reported previously, following close contact of the cats with infected birds or from ingesting meat of infected birds.

                      Epidemiology of H5N1

                      Since the end of 2021, an unprecedented number of H5N1 outbreaks among poultry and wild birds has been reported worldwide. As of June 2023, the clade 2.3.4.4b viruses have become dominant in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Alongside wild bird and domestic poultry infections, there have been increased detections in non-avian species, including wild terrestrial (often scavenging) and marine mammals and occasionally in farmed or captive mammalian species, likely through contact with infected live or dead birds or their environments.

                      Since 2020, 12 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) clade 2.3.4.4b virus detections have been reported to WHO, four of which were severe cases and eight were mild or asymptomatic. It is unclear if the detection of the virus in these mild or asymptomatic cases resulted from infection or temporary contamination of the nasal passages. Most humans infected with A(H5N1) viruses have resulted from direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry. Human infection with influenza A(H5N1) viruses can cause severe disease and is fatal in some cases.
                      Public health response

                      Response measures have been implemented by the national authorities in Poland. These include:

                      Under the guidance of the public health authorities in Poland, all owners of infected cats are provided with a health self-assessment questionnaire and requested to self-monitor for symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) or acute respiratory illness (ARI) for 10 days since last contact with infected cat. As of 12 July, 70 individuals who had been in contact with confirmed cats have completed self-monitoring and none reported symptoms.
                      Providing regular updates on the situation and sharing information and updates with partners, including international organizations.
                      Epizootic investigations are underway to understand the epidemiological situation in cats and the likely source of exposure of cats to the virus.
                      Preventive measures have been taken to prevent the occurrence of disease in humans by issuing publicly available general precautions for cat owners and individuals who have contact with sick animals suspected of avian influenza infection.

                      WHO continues to monitor the situation and work in close collaboration with the animal and public health sectors, regional agencies, FAO, WOAH, and other partner agencies in Poland and globally.

                      WHO is evaluating the existing candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs) of A(H5N1) through the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) to ensure valid CVVs are developed and available for pandemic preparedness purposes.
                      WHO risk assessment

                      To date, human A(H5N1) infections following contact with an infected cat have not been documented. Avian Influenza A(H5N1) virus detections in humans remain unusual, and sustained human-to-human transmission has not been documented.

                      To date, no symptomatic human contact of infected cats has been reported in Poland despite potentially close contact between cats and owners, and the capacity to detect a human case in contact with an infected cat is adequate in the country.

                      Therefore, based on current information, the risk of human infections following exposure to infected cats at the national level is assessed as low for the general population, and low to moderate for cat owners and those occupationally exposed to A(H5N1)-infected cats (such as veterinarians) without the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.

                      Based on the current information, the risk for humans at the regional level is assessed as low, due to: i) avian influenza surveillance activities in animals in Europe being strengthened since September 2022, when the unprecedented geographical extent (37 European countries affected) resulted in 50 million poultry being culled in affected establishments; and (ii) Currently, there are no reported instances of human infection with the A(H5N1) virus acquired from cats, although A(H5N1) infection in domestic cats has been confirmed in Poland.

                      Due to the uncertainties related to this event, including the source of infection, the risk assessment may change.
                      WHO advice

                      The reports of these events do not change the current WHO recommendations on public health measures and surveillance of influenza.

                      Due to the constantly evolving nature of influenza viruses, WHO continues to stress the importance of global surveillance to detect and monitor virological, epidemiological and clinical changes associated with emerging or circulating influenza viruses that may affect human (or animal) health and timely virus-sharing for risk assessment.

                      All individuals exposed to animal influenza viruses, and all contacts of confirmed human cases, should monitor their health for the duration of the known exposure period with additional seven days at a minimum.

                      All those exposed to known infected poultry, wild birds or other animals, or to farms under suspicion, should be registered and placed under close monitoring by local health authorities. This will facilitate the early detection of illness and timely clinical case management. If a person is suspected of having zoonotic influenza, the health authorities must be notified, and appropriate clinical case management should be provided.

                      Public health and animal health authorities should collaborate closely in the areas of information sharing, joint risk assessment, and response to outbreaks of zoonotic influenza at the human-animal interface, adhering to the One Health approach.

                      FAO, WHO and WOAH have issued a joint situation analysis and advice to countries in relation to ongoing avian influenza outbreaks in animals and the risk posed to human health. FAO, WHO and WOAH continue to review the situation, monitoring the rapidly evolving nature of the virus, and updating recommendations for curbing its spread, in addition to working with countries in preparedness and response, and facilitating collaboration across countries and sectors. The spread of the virus to five continents speaks to the need for global cooperation and alertness to protect animals, people, and economies.

                      WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel and/or trade with Poland based on available information on this event.
                      Further information

                      Situation analysis and advice to countries from FAO, WHO, WOAH https://www.who.int/news/item/12-07-...risk-to-humans
                      WHO Fact sheets, Influenza and other zoonotic: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-s...other-zoonotic)
                      Influenza at the human-animal interface summary and assessment, 31 May 2023. https://www.who.int/publications/m/i...t--31-may-2023
                      WHO Global influenza programme, human-animal interface: https://www.who.int/teams/global-inf...vian-influenza
                      WHO Monthly Risk Assessment Summary: Influenza at the human-animal interface: https://www.who.int/teams/global-inf...ssment-summary
                      Cumulative number of confirmed human cases for avian influenza A(H5N1) reported to WHO, 2003-2022, 31 May 2023. https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/defau...02_3&download= true
                      US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bird flu in pets and other animals https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avi...er-animals.htm
                      The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) , Investigation into the risk to human health of avian influenza (influenza A H5N1) in England: technical briefing 5 https://www.gov.uk/government/public...cal-briefing-5
                      WOAH. WAHIS report for Influenza A viruses of high pathogenicity (H5N1) in Poland. https://wahis.woah.org/#/in-review/4063
                      Case definitions for the four diseases requiring notification in all circumstances under the International Health Regulations (2005): https://www.who.int/publications/m/i...-the-ihr-(2005)
                      Government of Poland. Chief Veterinary Inspectorate communication. 26 June 2023.https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/main/komun...kotow/idn:2283
                      Government of Poland. Chief Veterinary Inspectorate communication. 28 June 2023. Komunikat IV GLW w sprawie choroby kotów | Główny Inspektorat Weterynarii (wetgiw.gov.pl)
                      WOAH Statement on avian influenza and mammals: https://www.woah.org/en/statement-on...a-and-mammals/
                      OFFLU. First statement on infections with Avian Influenza A(H5N1) virus in cats in Poland. 28 June 2023. https://www.offlu.org/index.php/2023...ats-in-poland/
                      Chief Sanitary inspectorate of Poland Announcement regarding the detection of cases of infection among domestic cats caused by the influenza A/H5N1 virus/ https://www.gov.pl/web/gis/komunikat...em-grypy-ah5n1
                      FAO - Avian Influenza A(H5N1) virus infections detected in cats in Poland https://www.fao.org/animal-health/ne.../en/c/1643432/



                      References

                      Kuiken, T., Rimmelzwaan, G., van Riel, D., van Amerongen, G., Baars, M., Fouchier, R., & Osterhaus, A. (2004). Avian H5N1 influenza in cats. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5694), 241. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1102287. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15345779/



                      Citable reference: World Health Organization (16 July 2023). Disease Outbreak News;Influenza A(H5N1) in cats in Poland . Available at https://www.who.int/emergencies/dise...em/2023-DON476


                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Poland Vet. Chief: Update On H5N1 In Cats (7/17/23)









                        #17,554


                        On the heels of yesterday's WHO DON Update on H5N1 in Cats in Poland we get the following update from Poland's CVO (Chief veterinary Officer) that updates the number of cats affected, indicates that the rate of new cases has decreased, but does not provide any additional insight as to source or mode of transmission.

                        (translated)
                        With reference to the announcement of July 7 this year, The Chief Veterinary Officer informs that as of July 17, 2023 (14:30) in Poland, samples from:
                        • 56 cats and 1 caracal to NRI - NRI in Puławy (29 cats and 1 positive caracal)
                        • 1 cat to the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (positive)
                        • 1 cat to AM Warsaw (positive)
                        • 2 cats examined by scientists of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) (positive)
                        • In total, out of 61 animals examined in Poland , 34 gave a positive result.

                        With regard to 31 animals , the Veterinary Inspection, with the consent of the animal owners, conducted epizootic investigations (as of July 17, 2023, 2:30 p.m.). In three cases, the reporting persons did not agree to share their personal data with the veterinary inspection. Analyzes of the collected data are in progress. At the same time, PIWET in Puławy conducted a sequencing study of genetic material in relation to 19 samples. Another 5 are under study.

                        The above analyzes indicate that the H5N1 virus of Genotype CH occurred in cats. Previously, the CH genotype virus was detected in a white stork in early June in the Tarnów district (outbreak No. 119/2023).

                        In the last week, the number of reported cases has significantly decreased in relation to the initial state, significantly fewer samples are also submitted for testing to NRI-NRI in Puławy.


                        https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2023/...1-in-cats.html
                        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


                        • #42
                          Translation Google

                          In Chełmek, Lesser Poland, a cat died of bird flu. Suspicious meat from Lidl. The client gave them to her pet raw

                          Malgorzata Glen
                          July 18, 2023, 9:02 am

                          A resident of Chełmek lost her beloved cat. She fed him fresh poultry meat. Suspicion fell on a product bought in a local Lidl store. The case is being handled by the District Prosecutor's Office Kraków - Śródmieście. The health department did not examine the rest of the meat, because when the inspectors together with the police reached the store, this batch of goods was gone. However, as emphasized by the Sanepid, you must not eat poultry meat raw, because it carries the risk of many diseases.

                          The case from Chełmek is being handled by the Kraków Śródmieście District Prosecutor's Office. The activities were commissioned by the municipal police from Krakow, because they have the appropriate department - to fight Crime Against Life and Health, and this, in turn, commissioned the activities to local policemen.

                          Sanepid carried out an inspection in Lidl in Chełmek

                          After the cat died and its owner testified, the State Poviat Sanitary Inspector in Oświęcim, together with police officers, carried out an inspection at the Lidl store in Chełmek, during which the source of the poultry meat purchased by the client was determined.

                          - However, there were no products from this manufacturer in the store - informs Dominika Łatak-Glonek, spokesperson for the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Krakow.

                          The information was submitted to the Poviat Veterinary Inspector in Oświęcim, supervising plants producing food of animal origin.

                          Do not eat raw poultry meat. NEVER

                          As Dominika Łatak-Glonek points out, the State Sanitary Inspection is responsible for the safety of food intended for human consumption. However, when it comes to products of animal origin, including meat and eggs, the State Veterinary Inspection is responsible for their inspections at the stage of breeding, slaughter and production. The State Sanitary Inspection checks products of animal origin after they have been placed on the market. When it comes to meat testing at this stage - they are not tested for the presence of viruses and this is a standard in EU countries. This is due to the fact that meat (especially poultry) should not be eaten without proper thermal treatment, which effectively kills the microbes present in it.

                          Importantly, the meat samples found in the inhabitant of Chełmek, i.e. the avian influenza A(H5N1) virus, do not show zoonotic features, i.e. the chance of transferring them from an animal to a human is negligible.

                          - There has never been a case of transmission of this virus from a cat to a human in history - emphasizes the spokeswoman for the health department.

                          The bodies of the State Sanitary Inspection had previously carried out preventive measures to prevent the occurrence of this disease in humans, e.g. by extending epidemiological supervision to the owners and keepers of cats confirmed to be infected with the avian influenza virus. No disturbing symptoms in humans have been recorded in this process.

                          We are waiting for Lidl's announcement

                          Lidl did not answer our questions. We wanted to know, among other things: whether the batch of "suspicious" meat was large and how many stores it went to.
                          ...
                          The first cases of cats dying of avian flu appeared in Poland in the second half of June. Their description shows that the disease progresses very quickly. It is still not really known how cats become infected with the bird flu virus. Suspicion fell on the food, specifically raw poultry meat, which the owners give their animals, which should not be done. By mid-July 2023, several dozen confirmed cases of avian influenza in cats were confirmed in Poland. Sick animals have various symptoms, among the most severe are respiratory and neurological problems.

                          ...

                          "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


                          • #43
                            Translation Google

                            Experts of the Polish Academy of Sciences advise on how to care for cats during the risk of avian influenza infections

                            AUGUST 2, 2023
                            Prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Frymus, prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pyrć and prof. dr hab. Romuald Zabielski from the Committee of Veterinary Sciences and Reproductive Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, chaired by prof. dr hab. Wojciech Niżański, have developed a set of a few simple rules that will protect our four-legged charges against infection.

                            How do we protect our cats?

                            Let's follow the announcements of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate​: - in areas at risk of bird flu, our pets should not leave the house. They are hunters hunting birds - let's not allow that, not just now. The bell on the collar will effectively scare away the potential victim, and it may save our cat's life. If the cat hunts a bird or we find a dead bird in our area - be sure to inform the City Guard or the Police.

                            During the threat of bird flu, cat food is of great importance, exclude raw poultry meat from their diet and prevent access to garbage. Wash kitchen utensils and hands after contact with raw poultry products with hot water and detergent. Influenza viruses are sensitive to commonly used agents. It is mandatory to wash your hands after coming home, and hide the shoes that cats like to rub against so much.

                            Avian influenza virus can remain active in the environment for quite a long time (e.g. more than 2 months at +4°C, many months frozen, several weeks in water). Freezing food and items is not an effective way to decontaminate them. So let's follow the above recommendations.

                            What to do if we suspect our cat is sick?

                            First of all, let's consider whether our ward went outside or could have had contact with feces or e.g. bird feathers, or whether he ate raw poultry products or could have access to their remains. We know our cat's behavior very well, so if it also becomes lethargic, loses interest in food, has breathing problems, discharge from the eyes, neurological disorders, diarrhea - contact your veterinarian immediately.

                            Let's not forget about the use of protection measures, well known to us from the time of the pandemic - a mask with a filter and gloves as well as a visor or glasses will effectively protect us. Avian influenza infections from cats have not been reported so far, but cannot be ruled out. It is not clear to what extent the virus is able to spread between different mammalian species (e.g. cats, dogs and humans). Therefore, let's protect ourselves and let the vet know about our suspicions.

                            You can't always save a cat

                            In this case, you need to pack the animal's body into a sealed plastic bag and contact your veterinarian immediately. Floors, furniture, window sills, etc. should be washed with water with detergent and dried, and tablecloths, bedspreads, curtains should be washed in an automatic washing machine at a temperature above 50 degrees Celsius (bird flu virus is destroyed) and dried without access to animals. Let's avoid contacts and visits, especially cat owners for 7-8 days. Infection occurs mainly through the respiratory and digestive routes. The incubation time for avian flu is 2-8 days in humans and 3-5 days in birds. If you have been in contact with a cat that shows the above-mentioned symptoms of bird flu and you develop any symptoms of respiratory disease, contact your doctor immediately.

                            Recommendations of experts of the Polish Academy of Sciences for veterinarians

                            Prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Frymus, prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pyrć oraz prof. dr hab. Romuald Zabielski z Komitetu Nauk Weterynaryjnych i Biologii Rozrodu PAN, któremu przewodniczy prof. dr hab. Wojciech Niżański, opracowali zestaw kilku prostych zasad, które zabezpieczą naszych czworonożnych podopiecznych przed zakażeniem. W jaki sposób chronić nasze koty? Obserwujmy komunikaty Głównego Inspektoratu Weterynarii
                            "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


                            • #44
                              We received five frozen meat samples and detected high levels of viral RNA in one of them, which was chicken meat that had been purchased fresh for human consumption on 9 June 2023 (Supplementary Materials and Methods). The quantification cycle (Cq) values were as low as 20 for the matrix (M) gene and 25 for the HA gene. Whole genome sequencing of this sample (A/environment/Poland/Kra1/2023) confirmed its high identity with maximum two differences at nucleotide level per segment to the viruses isolated from the cats (GISAID: EPI_ISL_17959737; Figure 2, Supplementary Figure 1, and Supplementary Table 2). The viral sequence obtained from the chicken had the PB2-E627K and PB2-K526R mutations.​

                              In June 2023, a fatal disease outbreak in cats occurred in Poland. Most cases tested in Poland (29 of 47) were positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) virus. Genetic analyses revealed clade 2.3.4.4b with point mutations indicative of initial mammalian hosts adaptations. Cat viral sequences were highly similar (n = 21), suggesting a potential common infection source. To investigate possible infection routes, our group tested food samples from affected households. HPAI H5N1 virus was detected in one poultry meat sample.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Translation Google

                                Avian Flu: “Infected cats have become ill but have not transmitted the disease to each other.” Mr. Santiago Sánchez-Apellániz, president of the ICOVS, in “Health up to date

                                Oct 18, 2023 | Media
                                ...

                                Last Saturday, October 14, 2023, in the “Salud al Día” space on Canal Sur Television, the raising of food-producing animals – such as poultry or rabbits – for self-consumption was discussed, among other issues.

                                Living with animals entails certain risks and therein lies the importance of health control and epidemiological surveillance of animal diseases, especially those that can be transmitted to humans (zoonoses).

                                In the case of birds, the focus is on avian flu as it is topical after the infection of several cats in Poland. As mammals are biologically more similar to humans than birds, greater concern has been created as to whether the virus could adapt to people in a more efficient way.

                                To address the topic with greater rigor, they have had Mr. Santiago Sánchez-Apellániz García, president of the College of Veterinarians of Seville and Head of the Animal Health Department of the Territorial Delegation of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of Seville, reporting that at this time there are no reasons to activate the alarm.

                                “The case of cats infected with avian flu, which is the one that has scared people the most, seems to be epidemiologically related to the ingestion of meat contaminated with the avian influenza virus. The animals have become sick but have not transmitted the disease to each other. "It is good news, but it forces us to be attentive to the development of the disease."

                                You can see the corresponding section starting at minute 09:00, in Health on 10/14/23 .


                                "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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