July 24, 2009
The H1N1 virus continues its worldwide march, but there is no evidence that animals are playing any role in its spread, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
However, it said national veterinary services should monitor animal populations for signs of respiratory disease and conduct appropriate testing.
Influenza is a disease of humans, birds, horses, pigs and, to a far lesser extent, cats and dogs. The current A/H1N1 virus is reported to contain genes from pig, bird and human strains of the virus.
The last update from the World Health Organization (WHO), issued on July 6, showed 94,512 confirmed cases worldwide in 122 countries, with 429 deaths. However, it is likely that millions of people have already caught the disease, which causes comparatively mild symptoms in healthy people. Disease experts have said the numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases are now largely meaningless.
The WHO announced late last week that it would stop issuing global tables showing the numbers of confirmed cases for all countries.
Reprinted in part from HorseTalk.com