Saturday 26 April 2014

Have I Given My Cat The Flu?

Have I Given My Cat The Flu?

The conventional view is that a person cannot give their cat the flu and neither can a cat give their human guardian the flu because viruses are species-specific. However, there was one reported case of swine flu being given to a cat by his owner.

That single example does open the door to the possibility, as far as I'm concerned, that there may be other unrecorded examples of transmission of viruses between cats and people.  We don't know and I suspect that nobody is checking.  Viruses mutate.  There are new viruses.  Is it possible that one of these viruses can be transmitted between a person and their cat?

The reason why I raise this question is because both my cat and I have exactly the same symptoms as I dictate this.  He has a cold and I have a cold.  He sneezes (very loudly) and I sneeze and feel a bit poorly.  My joints ache a bit.  His cold started at the same time that my cold started.  Of course, this may not be a cold.  It could be an allergy and we could both be suffering from the same allergy but I believe that it is more likely that we either have the same cold and it has transmitted between us or, simply by coincidence, we both have a cold at the same time.

Although it is extremely unlikely, it would seem possible that I may have swine flu - a low-level version of it - which I have given to my cat.

Why have I mentioned swine flu?  Well about 3 or so months ago I had a flu jab, a vaccination, to help prevent getting the flu over the winter and I was told by the person administering it that, this year, they had added a swine flu vaccine to the usual vaccine.

The vaccination hurt my left arm and that discomfort has continued over months and therefore I think something went wrong.  Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that rather than the vaccine preventing flu it caused me to get the flu?  And if it did it may be swine flu and if it is I may have given it to my cat because we know that that particular type of virus is transmittable between person and cat.

This is very far-fetched, on the face of it but who knows?  It is highly unlikely that what I have suggested is actually happening but what I'm going to do is take my cat to a veterinarian on Monday and see whether she can do some blood tests on him to find out what sort of virus (if it is a virus) that is causing him to sneeze and which has given him a cold.

If my veterinarian is amenable to the suggestion, I will also ask her to take a blood sample from me to do a similar blood test on my blood to see whether there is a match between my blood and my cat's blood with respect to any viruses that may be in it.  That is the wild plan.  It is probably an unworkable plan but I will pursue it nonetheless.

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