Three derivations of the parvovirus can be of particular concern to a typical person living in Southern California and across the United States. These are:
- Human parvovirus
- Canine parvovirus
- Feline parvovirus
As will be discussed in a moment, there exists one known kind of parvovirus that infects humans. There are multiple strains of the virus that have the potential for infecting cats and dogs. These broadly have been classified for the purposes of discussion as canine parvovirus and feline parvovirus. Dogs and cats can be infected with the same strains of parvovirus.
Vaccinate Your Furry Family Members
The most important step a person can take if they have a dog or cat as part of their family is to have these furry friends vaccinated. There are vaccines available to both dogs and cats that prevent these companion animals from being infected with parvovirus. Research is ongoing regarding the development of a human parvovirus vaccine.
Canines and felines typically contract parvovirus when they are puppies and kittens. Thus, the recommendation is that dogs and cats obtain a parvovirus vaccination at the time of their first veterinarian appointment, when they obtain other basic vaccinations. Indeed, a parvovirus vaccination is commonplace for puppies and kittens in this day and age. If a dog or cat hasn’t obtained the vaccination when young, an older animal can obtain the vaccine as well.
Human parvovirus is highly contagious. Technically, this type of the virus is known as Parvovirus B19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Human parvovirus is transferred from person to person via contact with saliva and emissions from sneezing. Human parvovirus does have the capacity to survive on surfaces for a period of time. A person can also contract parvovirus by coming into contact with the virus that remains alive on a surface of some sort. A pregnant woman can infect her unborn child with parvovirus.
People in the U.S. tend to contract parvovirus in the winter, spring, and early summer. Across the country, there tends to be what the CDC classifies as “mini-outbreaks” every three to four years. Parvovirus B19 infects only humans. Dogs and cats cannot contract this virus. As was noted, humans cannot contract canine or feline parvovirus.
A person who contracted parvovirus is only contagious during the early period of infection. Once a person starts demonstrating symptoms of parvovirus infection, that individual is no longer infected. Bear in mind that about 20 percent of individuals who contract parvovirus never demonstrate any symptoms at all.
In many cases, an infected individual will suffer mild symptoms. In such cases, a person may suffer what is classified as a mild rash as a primary symptom. Children are more likely to develop this rash. The rash that arises as a result of parvovirus infection is called Fifth Disease.
In addition to the rash, other possible symptoms of a human parvovirus infection include:
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
- Runny nose
- Joint pain
- Itchy skin
- Painful skin
- Muscle ache
- Severe anemia
More often than not, a person with symptoms of parvovirus sees them resolve within about a week’s time. In a small percentage of cases, a person’s symptoms persist or become more profound. This typically is the case in situations involving:
- Young children
- Older adults
- Individuals with compromised immune systems
- People undergoing cancer treatment
Canine and Feline Parvovirus
Canine and feline parvovirus is a significant issue for pet owners. As was noted, making certain your pets are vaccinated against the parvovirus is crucial.
A dog or cat infected with parvovirus will shed an amazing amount of viral particles. 35 million viral particles can be found in one ounce of dog or cat stool. Canine or feline parvovirus can survive six months outside of an animal’s body.
Symptoms of parvovirus in dogs and cats include:
- Severe diarrhea
- Severe weight loss
There is no direct cure for parvovirus. Rather, when a dog or cat is infected with this virus, the symptoms are addressed to allow an infected companion animal the ability to recover from the underlying infection.
Professional Parvovirus Cleanup
If a human, dog, or cat with parvovirus has been in your home (or business), you cannot effectively undertake parvovirus cleanup on your own. Parvovirus cleanup represents a type of infectious disease that a “layperson” simply cannot successfully take on. Moreover, if a person endeavors to personally undertake human parvovirus cleanup on his or her own, he or she runs the very real risk of becoming infected. If an individual attempts canine parvovirus cleanup or feline parvovirus cleanup, the net result is the likely further spread of viral particles throughout a home or business. An infectious disease cleanup company has the skills, equipment, and necessary materials necessary to remediate the situation fully and safely.