Feline Herpes Outbreak Infects 30 Cats At Virginia Animal Shelter

By Matt Higgins
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File photo of cat in animal shelter. (Credit: JUAN VRIJDAG/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of cat in animal shelter. (Credit: JUAN VRIJDAG/AFP/Getty Images)

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ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (CBSDC) — A feline herpes outbreak has affected 30 cats at the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter.

The outbreak started two weeks ago when the cats started to develop upper respiratory infections, Kristin Wilda, public information officer for the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office, told CBSDC.

“The cats were taken to the vet and they were diagnosed with the herpes virus.”

The airborne virus is not contagious to humans or other animals, but the disease is not curable for cats.

Wilda told CBSDC that 14 of the infected cats have found new homes. If the remaining 16 don’t get adopted by Feb. 5, they will be euthanized early next week.

“We are hoping kind-hearted people will come forward,” Wilda told CBSDC.

The shelter has not been able to accept any more cats due to the outbreak and it must be disinfected and cleaned daily for no less than 30 days to make sure that the virus is no longer present.

Symptoms of feline herpes include sneezing, congestion and watery eyes. The disease is most commonly spread through contact with discharge from an infected cat’s eyes, mouth or nose.

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