Deux-Sèvres: a cat dies after contracting avian flu, a first in France

This is a first in the country. As reported West France this Tuesday, the cat of a family living in Mauléon, in Deux-Sèvres, died last December after contracted avian flu.

The owners of the six-year-old animal live right next to a building that housed laying ducks. However, during December, the farm has been affected by avian flu. As the family reports to the regional newspaper, they were only informed the same day by the owners of the farm that the 8,000 birds had been slaughtered. Above all, many soiled objects have stagnated in front of the family home, in particular bags and used suits.

Tested after euthanasia

Shortly after the incident, the cat’s behavior changed. Round trips to the veterinarian gave nothing, the animal not having been tested during its lifetime for avian flu. Eventually, tests showed that he had developed neurological problems. On December 23, the feline had to be euthanized.

It was only after his death that he tested positive to the H5N1 type virus, that of the avian flu. According to virologist Pierre Bessière, interviewed by Ouest France, “this is the first time in France that a case of domestic contamination has been reported” with this H5 type virus which has been circulating in Europe since 2016.

Besides the family cat, almost all of its chickens, ducks and geese have been affected by bird flu. In addition, in view of the domestic contamination, the parents and their three children were tested.

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