LEBANON, Ore., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A cat in Lebanon, Ore., is likely the first cat in the United States to have died as a result of the H1N1 virus, Oregon state veterinary officials said.
Raina Dey of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and state public health veterinarian Emilio DeBess said the 10-year-old cat likely contracted the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, from a human, The Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard said Thursday.
The cat died three days after being taken to Lebanon's Animal Clinic with labored breathing on Nov. 4. The Register-Guard said a family member of the cat's owner was recently sick with a flu-like illness.
The feline became the third confirmed case of a cat with H1N1 after the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the animal had the influenza strain.
The two prior cases of a cat with H1N1, which occurred in Iowa and Nebraska, ended with both animals recovering.
DeBess said it potentially could be possible that cats infected with the H1N1 virus could transmit the virus to humans.