A second cat has died of swine flu in Oregon, leading veterinarians to investigate why the disease has become a threat to a household pet.

Emilio DeBess, the state public health veterinarian, said the cat died about two weeks ago on the Oregon coast after catching the H1N1 virus from its owner.

Another cat died from the virus early in November in the town of Lebanon after a child in the household got sick with swine flu.

DeBess is working with veterinary researchers at Oregon State University to find clues about why cats might be susceptible to the virus.

Various diseases in animals have long been a threat to humans, such as rabies, or the West Nile virus. But with swine flu, the disease is going the other way, from humans to an animal — which is rare.

———

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com