Eight Orange County adults died of swine flu last week, reports the Orange County Register via the county Health Care Agency. That 33 percent increase in local deaths brings the total H1N1-related fatalities in this blessed region of ours to 32. Most of those suffered pre-existing conditions ranging from obesity to cancer to diabetes. Three, including one of those who died last week, were pregnant and four were children.
None, as near as we can tell, were cats.
But a press release issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association states a 13-year old tabby in Iowa has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus-marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza.
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Since the cat is exclusively an indoor cat who has zero contact with other animals, it is believed to have caught the virus from one of two members in the household who were sick with H1N1. The tabby thus joins pigs, turkeys and several ferrets that have been diagnosed with H1N1.
Swine flu is supposed to be passed from animals from humans. Heck, it says so in the name. But although it is popularly held that H1N1 spreads from critters to people, it can work the other way around also, vets will tell you.
Perhaps one of your favorite Citigroup, Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs bankers, who managed to cut to the front of the line for scarce H1N1 vaccines, will loan you an injection for your ailing husband, pregnant wife or beloved pussy. How about a government swap ala Cash for Clunkers? Call it Stimulus for Shots.