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Germany says people in areas with bird flu should keep cats indoors

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:568
  1. Katy Duke
  1. Berlin

    Germany has told people in areas where avian influenza has been found to keep domestic pets under strict control to avoid spreading the virus to other species. This is despite advice that cats are not a “real danger.”

    The German government took the action after the discovery of a cat that died after eating birds infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus on the island of Rügen.

    A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture in Berlin, Tanja Thiele, said, “All domestic cats within a 3 km radius of a site of bird flu infection are not allowed to leave the house. Dogs can only be outside when on a lead, to prevent them eating the corpses of infected birds.

    “So far we have only seen one case of the virus crossing over to …

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