The pandemic virus has now been isolated in other domestic animal species including birds, swine, ferrets and cats.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture has ordered increased monitoring and an investigation of the pandemic virus after the College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University found two positive samples of the H1N1 influenza virus in 52 samples taken from sick dogs late last week.
The Ministry of Agriculture is asking authorities to increase surveillance of animal H1N1 influenza for early detection of any mutations.
In the North America, H1N1 has been detected in turkeys, ferrets, swine and cats. Researchers believe infected people are passing the virus to these animals, but have not yet determined whether or not the animals are passing the virus back to humans.
Additionally on the H1N1 front, Indonesia reported an outbreak of H1N1 infection in swine to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), with the country’s ministry of agriculture official declaring the outbreak Nov. 23. Thirty-three of the 180 swine samples taken in Indonesia were positive for Influenza A, with six of those samples testing positive for pandemic influenza A/H1N1.
In this country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urges veterinarians to continue surveillance of possible infection in swine herds. A vaccine recently was developed by Iowa State University, and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians has developed an H1N1 action plan in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA.