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Video. Cats have passed the disease TB onto humans for the first time ever. Public health experts say two cat owners have developed tuberculosis and a further two people have a dormant form of it. The disease is usually associated with cattle and badgers.
In total, nine cats from Hampshire and Berkshire have been infected with Mycobacterium Bovis that causes TB. Six animals died or were put down, two are under going treatment and one tabby cat, called Milhouse, has run away.
It's the first evidence that the disease can spread from cats to humans, but officials say the risk is still very low.
Andrew Pate spoke to vet Carl Gorman and Clare Farley whose cat died from suspected TB.
Tests by scientists investigating cases of tuberculosis in cats and humans showed that the TB bug taken from the infected pets was indistinguishable from samples taken from the two people suffering from the disease. This indicated the people had been infected by the animals.
For two other people, who had latent TB infection, which means they had been exposed to TB bacteria but were not ill, it was not possible to confirm the source of their exposure.
Public Health England says the risk of tuberculosis spreading from cats to humans is low - in the wake of two people catching the disease from pets.
There have been no new cases since March last year.
Nine cats were found to be infected in Hampshire and Berkshire.
Two people have developed tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat infected with the bug Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), according to Public Health England (PHE) and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).
M. bovis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) in cattle and in other species. In 2013, AHVLA and PHE investigated nine cases of infection in domestic cats in Berkshire and Hampshire.
PHE offered screening, as a precaution, to 39 people who had come into contact with infected cats - 24 accepted. Further investigations revealed two people had been exposed to TB but were not ill and two had active infections. Both are responding to treatment.