Gabriela Barkho – January 12, 2017
The bird-flu epidemic that has affected animal shelters citywide all began with a little tabby named Alfred.
The kitten was adopted from a Bronx shelter in late October and showed symptoms of H7N2 a few weeks later. He died Nov. 12.
Soon after, hundreds of shelter cats showed the same signs, including runny nose, watery eyes and general weakness.
“Alfred is Patient Zero,” Dr. Robin Brennen, director of shelter medicine for Animal Care Centers of New York City, told The New York Times.
She said it’s unknown where he contracted the illness.
“That’s to me the scary part,” Brennen said. “Weird.”