A new feline virus called fechavirus was discovered to be the cause of a outbreak of feline diarrhea and vomiting at the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) in 2018.
The finding of the research and discovery is published in the journal, Viruses.
According to the BC SPCA, staff became concerned when eight cats fell ill on a single day in 2018 at the Community Animal Centre in Vancouver, presenting symptoms similar to a human “stomach flu” – vomiting, diarrhea, followed by recovery within a few days in most cases. When their tests came back negative for parasites, Dr. Emilia Gordon, senior manager, animal health, says she and her team became worried that another type of virus or bacteria could be the culprit.
“We knew within a few days we were dealing with something very unusual and unlike anything we’d faced before,” says Gordon. “We started saving samples and reaching out to external experts right away. That enabled us to eventually contribute to the discovery of the new virus.”
Read more at the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
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