Cat-Deadly Feline FPV (Distemper) Virus Detected at LB Animal Shelter; Quarrantine And Protective Measures Implemented
|(June 18, 2021) -- In the 4 p.m. hour today (June 18), the City advised LB media outlets that Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) has been detected at LB's Animal Care Services shelter. A city media advisory says "Panleukopenia is a feline virus that causes the infected animal to lose all defenses against any viruses or bacteria. In an unvaccinated population of cats, it is the deadliest disease."
The media advisory continued: "On June 12, 2021, Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) discovered that a kitten who entered the shelter on June 4 had contracted Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), also known as Feline Distemper. Additional kittens were confirmed to be infected with FPV in the subsequent days. LBACS staff is implementing several measures that will protect the population of cats currently in their care."
In a June 18 memo to the Mayor and City Council, City Manager Tom Modica and Parks/Rec Dir. Brent Dennis included the Q & A (below) and additionally stated:
To contain the spread of the disease, LBACS staff are implementing several measures that will protect the population of cats currently in our care. First, we are limiting the intake of felines to only those that are sick, injured, or in need of medical attention.
[Included in City release text to media]
What is Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV)?
Panleukopenia is a feline virus that causes the infected animal to lose all defenses against any viruses or bacteria. In an unvaccinated population of cats, it is the deadliest disease. It is this reason that ACS takes care and precautions when handling cats to limit the spread of all disease as much as possible.
How is FPV spread?
FPV is spread when a cat ingests viral material that is present in bodily waste. This can happen through litter box use, food and water bowls, grooming, etc.
Why is this disease in the shelter?
FPV is not a shelter-specific disease. This is a disease that commonly kills unvaccinated stray cats and kittens, and was likely introduced by an unowned, unvaccinated cat or kitten that was brought to the shelter. FPV vaccines are highly effective, and this disease is preventable.
How can FPV be contained?
LBACS is managing FPV with live containment: sick cats will be isolated from healthy cats, and staff will take extra steps to decrease the risk of cross-contamination, including limiting the intake of felines to only those that are sick, injured, or in need of medical attention and staff will not be using the affected room where infected kittens were identified for new admissions. LBACS has obtained additional housing areas to effectively isolate the different cat population groups. The quarantine will be overseen by a veterinarian and will be in effect for 14 days from the date of the last incident of the disease. Vaccination on intake is already the standard practice for all cats entering LBACS who are at least four weeks of age; it can provide immunity within days.
What can members of the community do to help prevent the spread of FPV?
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