Influenza (flu) is infectious and transmissible from one person to another. This disease affects the throat, nose, and lungs. Besides, the viruses like flu can spread among the ferrets too. However, the other flu viruses are found in animal species like pigs and chickens do not transmit to humans or ferrets.
How it spreads :
The flu will be spreading in droplets through sneezing, talking, and coughing. So you can also get the flu while touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. In addition, people can spread influenza to ferrets by droplets while coughing, talking, sneezing, or direct touching.
Those infected with flu can spread it easily to others before showing any signs. Additionally, there are no reports of the flu spreading from ferrets to humans because ferrets can get sick due to human viruses. However, the ferret may spread the flu virus to other people.
Who is at risk :
Any person can have flu, but children younger than five years, adults 65 or older and pregnant women will have more severe conditions or weakened immune systems with a high risk of developing influenza complications. Therefore, it would be best to get a flu vaccine to prevent influenza and other serious complications like flu.
Signs in ferrets :
Ferrets are highly susceptible to flu, and the ferrets who are suffering from flu will have a plethora of signs such as fever, sneezing, weakness, coughing, decreased appetite, and thick and clear discharge from the nostrils. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available for ferrets. However, a veterinarian can provide a plan if your pet ferret has influenza.
Symptoms In People :
People suffering from influenza (flu) can have a fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, tiredness (fatigue), headache, and body aches. Additionally, flu can spread to ferrets with droplets, so if someone is sick with flu should not be near ferrets.
If you still have contact with your ferret while having flu, you should use gloves and a face mask to prevent the spread of flu. Plus, it would help if you were washing your hands before interacting with your ferret.