H1N1 Flu in Animals - Information
For frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to H1N1 flu in animals, birds, and pets, please see the flu.gov animal FAQs.
What animals can be infected with the H1N1 flu virus?
In addition to humans, live swine and turkeys, a small number of ferrets (which are highly susceptible to influenza A viruses), domestic cats and dogs have been infected with 2009 H1N1 virus. In addition, 2009 H1N1 virus infection was reported in a cheetah in California. CDC is working closely with domestic and international public and animal heath partners to continually monitor reports of 2009 H1N1 in animals and will provide additional information to the public as it becomes available.
How do companion animals become infected with H1N1 flu?
All available information suggests that the ferret, cat, and dog with 2009 H1N1 infections acquired the virus through close contact with ill humans. Transmission of 2009 H1N1 virus from humans to animals appears similar to human-to-human transmission
Can I get H1N1 flu from my pet?
Available evidence suggests that transmission has been from ill humans to their companion animals. No evidence is available to suggest that animals are infecting humans with 2009 H1N1 virus.
What should I do if I suspect my pet has H1N1 flu virus?
If members of your household have flu-like symptoms, and your pet exhibits respiratory illness, contact your veterinarian.
What do I do if I am sick with flu-like symptoms and I have pets?
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:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands frequently
- Minimize contact with your pets until 24 hours after your fever is gone
Should people be concerned about getting sick from pigs?
No, to date, pigs do not play a role in the ongoing transmission of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus. The 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus currently found in people is a new virus, with a combination of genes not seen before in humans or pigs. Calling the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus currently circulating in people around the world “swine flu” has led to confusion.
Pig owners should keep people with respiratory illness away from animals. Seasonal flu viruses are occasionally transmitted from people to pigs. Recognize flu-like symptoms in humans - fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and possibly vomiting or diarrhea. Anyone who has been diagnosed with flu, has flu-like symptoms, or reports contact with others who have flu-like symptoms should avoid contact with pigs.
Pig owners should be utilizing protective measures to keep their animals healthy.
- Enhance protective practices to prevent spread of the virus.
- Permit only essential workers and vehicles to enter the farm to limit the chances of bringing the virus from an outside source.
- Avoid visiting other livestock farms.
- Disinfect shoes, clothes, hands, crates, vehicles and tires – all of which can carry the virus.
- Protect your herd from contact with other animals.