After nearly half a century, feline parvovirus is back in Australia. This deadly disease, panleukopenia, is spreading like fire among cats after being dormant nearly 40 years. Multiple cases of cat plague, or panleukopenia, have been reported in stray kittens in the Melbourne area.

Feline parvovirus, panleukopenia, is a virus that affects and infects rapidly dividing cells and tissues. The first symptoms start in the digestive system, in the lining of the small intestine, resulting in vomiting and bloody diarrhea, high fever, anorexia, lethargy and often, if not treated, sudden death.

This disease was common in Australia back in the 1960s and 1970s, when Australia was one of the pioneer countries to develop an effective vaccine. At this time, in the 1970s, affected patients were stray kittens and unvaccinated kittens bought from markets and pet stores.

The reappearance of the virus first occurred in animal shelters after which many cats died. They were all unvaccinated.

Learn more about feline parvovirus and how it reappeared on Australian soil here: