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Maui veterinarian says cat virus tough to stop

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:26 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2014

WAILUKU >> A deadly cat virus that has hit eight felines on the island since May can't be contained, the Maui Humane Society's top veterinarian said.

The latest case of feline panleukopenia was confirmed in a cat from populated central Maui, The Maui News reported.

Miyo Miyasaki-Kim, director of the Humane Society's veterinary service, said the case in the highly populated area means there's no way to stop the virus from spreading.

"It is going to change our life here at the shelter," she said.

Miyasaki-Kim said the virus is a top problem for shelters on the U.S. mainland.

The first three confirmed cases were in an isolated area, but hopes to contain it were a long shot, she said.

The virus attacks white blood cells and can lead to death. Animals spread it through direct contact or contact with contaminated food dishes, bedding or people who have treated infected cats.

Cats can be vaccinated to protect them from the virus and other respiratory diseases. The Humane Society is planning two vaccination clinics this month in addition to one held last week.

The virus can remain active for as long as one year in the wild, and it can move on shoes, car tires and other surfaces.

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bumba wrote:
Nature's way of culling the herd and controlling the feral cat population. If I were a cat owner I'd have it vaccinated and keep it in the house from now on.
on July 11,2014 | 07:18AM
localguy wrote:
Exactly how back in the day the Bubonic Plague culled the heard of humans. Sadly it missed a lot of totally dysfunctional people.
on July 11,2014 | 08:57AM
roxeee wrote:
I wish they would explain how to sanitize your home or items from the virus. For example, if I bring a potted plant inside, pet an outdoor cat, etc... can I just wash with soap and water?
on July 11,2014 | 09:02AM
Ronin006 wrote:
This virus needs to be exported to Kauai to help eliminate feral cats that are slaughtering endangered seabirds nesting there.
on July 11,2014 | 09:25AM
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