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feline leukemia

viral disease of cats, one of the most serious diseases affecting domestic cats and a few other Felidae. The disease occurs worldwide. Signs include enlargement of the lymph nodes, depression, emaciation, and, frequently, diarrhea; there is no known treatment, and the outcome is usually fatal. A fluorescent antibody test developed in the 1970s produced evidence that the virus is present in many apparently healthy cats. Preventive vaccines are available. The disease can spread among animals; however, there is no proved connection with leukemia in humans.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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