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One ferret euthanized, 16 sickened in H1N1 outbreak

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Mar 08, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Erlanger, Ky -- Within days of the euthanization of a ferret at a Kentucky ferret shelter, 16 more fell sick from H1N1.

The first ferret fell ill Feb. 10, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and was diagnosed with respiratory distress and severe pneumonia. It was euthanized after not responding to treatment, AVMA says, and a necropsy suggested the ferret had suffered from a viral infection like H1N1 or canine distempter.

Within two days, the rest of the ferrets housed in the shelter at Erlanger Veterinary Hospital became sick with similar symptoms. Test results later revealed the ferret were suffering from 2009 H1N1 influenza, according to AVMA. All were treated and are recovering from the illness.

AVMA says prior to the outbreak, a shelter worker was sick with flu-like symptoms but no fever.