2014-03-27 18:30:24 -
Public Health England which acts partly as a health protection agency in the UK has stunned cat lovers with the revelation that 2 people have contracted the deadly tuberculosis infection from a pet cat.
Two people in England have developed tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat infected with ‘Mycobacterium bovis’ M. bovis, Public Health England (PHE) and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) have announced‘M. bovis’ is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) in cattle (bovine TB) and in other species.
Nine cases of ‘M. bovis’ infection in domestic cats in Berkshire and Hampshire were investigated by AHVLA and PHE during 2013.
This disturbing news comes at a time when bovine TB is center stage as efforts have been
made in Britain to kill off badgers who are seen by farmers as a prime cause of bovine TB in farmed cattle. The fact that cats and indeed humans are getting bovine TB will be alarming to all cat owners.
Britain is also in the middle of a resurgence in TB generally, as well as increasing cses of TB that does ot respnd to normal treatment.
PHE offered TB screening to 39 people identified as having had contact with the infected cats as a precautionary measure. 24 contacts accepted screening. Following further investigations, a total of 2 cases of active TB and 2 cases of latent TB were identified. Latent TB means they had been exposed to TB at some point but they did not have active disease. Both cases of active TB disease have confirmed infection with ‘M. bovis’ and are responding to treatment.
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