CDC: Don’t worry about catching H1N1 from pets

While some pets have been diagnosed with H1N1, or swine flu, the Centers for Disease Control said in mid-December that infected pets are not likely to transmit the flu to humans.

The CDC reported in November that H1N1 had been detected in dogs and cats, swine, ferrets (which are highly susceptible to influenza A viruses) and a cheetah in the United States. The animals most likely contracted the illness through close contact with infected humans.

“If you are sick with influenza-like-illness, take the same precautions with your pets that you would to keep your family and friends healthy,” the CDC writes on its website. This includes washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and minimizing contact with pets for 24 hours after your fever has gone.

Pets that exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness should be taken to the veterinarian for evaluation.

Detailed information on swine flu in humans and pets is available at the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm.