Friday, January 15, 2016

Exotic Feline Rescue Center working with pathologists to fight outbreak of deadly virus


CENTER POINT, Ind. (WTHI) – An update to a story News 10 first brought you in early December.
For several weeks the exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Indiana has been battling an outbreak of a deadly disease.
So far, the virus known as canine distemper has claimed the lives of eight large cats and has sickened several more.
The virus, which has no cure, is usually associated with dogs. It can quickly progress from respiratory issues to neurological problems.
On Thursday News 10 spoke with Founder, Joe Taft, who said the refuge is working closely with pathologists from the University of Illinois. “We are sending them samples, and we originally thought we contracted the virus through a dead raccoon, we have since learned it came from a coyote. We don’t know how it happened, but that’s what we’re working to find out,” he said.
Luckily, all of the cats are currently healthy. “We haven’t had anyone get sick for a couple of weeks, so we are optimistic,” said Taft.
The center is hoping the worst of the outbreak is over.
Although there are vaccines for dogs and ferrets, studies have shown the dog vaccine isn’t safe for big cats and no evidence the ferret vaccine is effective in big cats.


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