South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs reported on Friday that two kinds of cat food used at a Seoul animal shelter tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) virus. The H5N1 AI strain was found in Balanced Duck and Balanced Chicken products manufactured by Nature’s Raw. An infected cat at the shelter had died, and the government ordered the recall and destruction of the contaminated items. Additionally, inspections were launched into all manufacturers of animal food using chicken, duck and other meats. Concerns have arisen over the spread of avian influenza among cats and other animals, as the virus was detected in two cats at a shelter in Seoul’s Yongsan Ward last week. People who had contact with the cats have not shown any symptoms, and there has been no human AI infection through cats or other mammals. However, health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, as the incubation period for human AI cases is known to be 10 days.
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