County Animal Shelter Experiencing Cat Virus Outbreak

ASD Feline-panleukopenia Fact Sheet banner

For immediate release: 
November 1, 2023 

For more information, contact: 
Linda Lowe, Public Information Officer 
Department of the Environment; (301) 836-2115 (cell)


County Animal Shelter Experiencing Cat Virus Outbreak 

Facility and adoptions remain open; cat nursery area closed for standard deep cleaning protocols


Largo, MD - The Prince George’s County Animals Services Facility and Adoption Center (ASFAC) is experiencing an outbreak of feline panleukopenia. This highly contagious viral disease infects cats, especially kittens, and kills cells such as bone marrow and intestines, and can be fatal. The disease does not affect humans, but humans can spread it to unvaccinated cats.

“We encourage cat parents to protect them early by staying on track with their feline vaccines,” said Department of the Environment Acting Director Adriana Caldarelli. “Vaccinations help protect our feline friends by preventing the spread of these diseases and boosting their body's defense against potentially fatal illnesses.”

Cats can become infected when in contact with other infected cats or their bedding, cages, food dishes, and the hands or clothing of people who've handled the infected cats. Young, sick, and unvaccinated cats are the most susceptible to the virus.

The virus was contained in the cat nursery area and was discovered after a cat tested positive. To minimize the spread of the virus, the cat nursery room is closed off, and standard cleaning protocols are ongoing in those areas.  All cats will be examined upon intake and determined suitable for adoption based on the basic examination, including an upper respiratory, nasal, and abnormality examination. The department's oversight veterinarian has provided guidance and support since the onset of the illness. Cat adoptions will proceed as scheduled in another designated adoption area. Dog adoptions and other pet services are not impacted at ASFAC and remain open.

Symptoms of feline panleukopenia include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • High Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Severe Diarrhea
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Dehydration

Learn more about feline panleukopenia at

For more information about animal adoptions and other services, call (301) 780-7200.

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