Message Number: SG18107 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2006-08-14 18:16:54 UTC
Subject: ***LOW*** pathogenic strain of H5N1 Bird Flu found in U.S.

Remember that this is not at all a time to panic. People should just
keep pets indoors, should not feed the geese, and should use the same
precautions in relation to handling injured or dead birds that they
use to avoid West Nile.

More data now at:

though the CDC has not yet sent a detailed press release to Eurekalert!

A strain of the H5N1 Bird Flu is now in the U.S. BUT IT IS ***NOT***
ONE OF THE HIGHLY PATHOGENIC STRAINS. It is the same low pathogenic
strain found earlier in Canada. It was found in mute swans in Michigan.

There is a mutation risk with this strain, too, though, so it could
become worse later, and later we may also see the worse strains
making it in, esp. through water fowl.

It would pay to exercise similar precautions at this time as are used
to prevent West Nile exposure, except remember that ferrets can also
get avian influenza types so perhaps add some precautions if you have
ferrets you take outside, especially in areas with water fowl.

Ferret people in Europe will already be using precautions in many
areas. In such locations people are advised to keep all pet birds,
ferrets, cats, and dogs indoors only. This simple precaution works

I do not know if the low pathogenic strains of H5N1 can be gotten by
cats and dogs as well as ferrets and some wild feline and mustelid
species, but the highly pathogenic strains can.

Certainly, ferrets get pretty much any avian influenzas, and if
memory serves, cats may also be able to get at least on low
pathogenic strain. Certainly, also protect pet birds by keeping them
in. Dogs seem to be more robust, but there have been some dogs
infected or with antibodies to at least one more pathogenic strain.


Please, advise ferret club members that precautions may be warranted
but panic is not at all warranted at this time.

-- Sukie (not a vet, and not speaking for any of the below in my
private posts)
Recommended health resources to help ferrets and the people who love
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AFIP Ferret Pathology
International Ferret Congress Critical References

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