Infectious Diseases 2018

Infectious Diseases 2018

Avian Influenza A(H5N6) in domestic cats, South Korea

EID Vol. 24, No. 12 - Dec. 2018 30 October, 2018

The 2016-17 winter season saw epidemics of HPAI A(H5N6) in domestic poultry and wild birds in South Korea. At the end of December 2016, three carcasses of cats were submitted from areas near H5N6 virus–infected chicken farms in Pocheon. The cats had shown sudden clinical signs of salivation, lethargy, convulsion, and bloody discharge around the mouth and jaws and died within 4 days after illness onset despite antimicrobial drug treatment. H5N6 virus infection was diagnosed. It seems likely that the neurotropism of H5N6 virus was a key factor contributing to the sudden death of these cats.  In previous reports, cats and tigers were naturally infected by feeding on infected bird carcasses. In China, H5N6 virus infection in cats has been reported in regions such as Suchuan and Guangdong Provinces.