An epidemic of feline typhus in a district of La Flèche

Feline typhus is particularly contagious. ©Les Nouvelles de Sablé, illustration

On 28 November 2022, a cat bodyso another was discovered in Poitou districtat La Fleche (Sarthe). Warned, the local policeresponsible for managing the population of cats say “for free”took the subject very seriously.

Autopsy confirms typhus

“Very quickly there was a suspicion of typhus »Explain David Colin, Municipal Policeman. That contagious disease was confirmed by a autopsy performed on one of the found cats.

In this district – which notably includes the Prytanée, the rue Gambetta, the rue du Parc and even the Notre-Dame school – a concentration of cats were observed after installation of huts and provision of continuous food.

La Flèche typhus epidemic
David Colin (in the foreground) and Stéphane Ménard remind us that it is forbidden to feed free cats. ©Sable News

“This equipment as well as the water and food bowls are neither maintained nor disinfected by the association (this association is not a partner of the city, ed. note) which installed them”, laments Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, volunteer prisoner for the community.

A favorable context “publicly unsanitary”which could be the cause of the epidemic.

At least five dead cats

Since November 28, other felines have become ill. The city alerted the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations – DDPP, and spoke five dead catsincluding one that had to be euthanized.

It was a sick cat we had seen. His health was too poor to be saved.

David Colin, Municipal Policeman

Since the identification and removal of this contaminated individual, as well as the immediate removal of the corpses, the epidemic appears to have been slowed. “But chances are there are other dead cats in the neighborhood.”

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Cats who hid to die and were never found.

Beware of domestic cats

Because cat typhus is a special disease contagiousand lethal in 90% of cases (in unvaccinated cats).

The situation is worrying. If, with our policy of sterilization of free cats, we bring an infected cat back into our breeding, our entire structure must be quarantined and our work to regulate the population of stray cats must be temporarily stopped.

David Colin, Municipal Policeman

The epidemic is also a danger for domestic cats not vaccinated. And the social landlord Sarthe-habitat informed the district’s tenants about the situation.

This season, however, we can hope that domestic cats go out less and therefore have a small chance of being contaminated.

Stéphane Ménard, Deputy Director General of City Services and Community of Communes of Pays fléchois.

The following ? “Unfortunately, we cannot control the development of the epidemic in cats, but we can remember the rules that must be respected to avoid gatherings of felines that go against the distribution on the territory that we are trying to establish. »

La Flèche typhus epidemic
Typhus claimed at least five victims. © DR

Beginning with insisting that feeding of wild cats is prohibited and is considered one crime of the department’s health regulations (RSD).

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