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How to counties deal with viral animal outbreaks?

Let’s imagine a scenario like the one that was happening now in Broward County, Florida. There’s a outbreak of a deadly feline virus, which is spreading rapidly. What eventually happens is that you no longer hear about it after so many months. But why is that? How do they control the outbreak of that virus? Do hazmat teams go out and vaccinate stray and feral cats in large quantities, or what?

2 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Health department alerts wildlife control to contain any vector animals. The charter is prevent spread.

    Infected animals don't live long and take virus with them, so the threat eventually passes with proper control.

    Feral cats are like 3rd on the list of vector animals, even above bats and skunks.

    Our last bout was prairie dogs down in the corner of the state, some tested positive for rabies, not a very common virus here. Wildlife and animal control watch for such virus.

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  • 9 months ago

    There are different ways, depending on the situation.

    There are some diseases, like Newcastle virus, they basically advise people to keep their birds and poultry shielded from wild birds; and they may euthanize an entire farm full of poultry that has become infected. Because it spreads so rapidly that this is necessary. Wild birds will die from it of course, but they will not all die, and the ones with more resistance to the virus will survive and breed. So the outbreak will die out on its own over a period of months.

    Now, diseases like rabies, hantavirus, and bubonic plague will be present in small numbers among wild animals; and the government takes samples of wild animals to see whether the disease is present. Rodents can carry these diseases, and if they find a population of wild rodents where there is an outbreak, they will warn people to stay away from the area, and they will kill off the infected population, and keep people out until the disease is gone from there.

    Vaccinating feral cats is a good idea; but if the cat is already infected, euthanasia may be necessary. It is usually organizations of cat-lovers who will trap feral cats and spay or neuter and vaccinate them, and either look for homes or release them, preferably in some area where they can help control the rodent population. True feral cats are extremely hard to tame though.

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