The Bermuda SPCA is experiencing a fungal outbreak, and due to the contagious nature of the fungus and the need to decontaminate the facility, the shelter is under quarantine for two weeks.

“The outbreak has at this time has been contained to a portion of the feline population and has not affected other animals in the Shelter,” the SPCA said.

“Since discovering the outbreak, shelter staff has taken multiple actions including notifying possibly affected people and animals with calls to adopters, veterinarians and volunteers to advise of the outbreak affecting the shelter.

“To contain the outbreak, the Shelter is under quarantine and only staff and volunteers can enter and must wear protective clothing. Cats are being treated and isolated to help control the fungal infection outbreak of ringworm.

“All affected felines have been seen by a vet and are receiving appropriate treatment. Fungal infections are easily treated once diagnosed. It is important for the Shelter to state – animals will not be euthanized due to ringworm.

“Bermuda has seen a great deal of rainfall leading to much moisture and a lot of standing water. This is the perfect environment to support ringworm and allow it to thrive. Be sure to wash your pets and children after they’ve been playing outside in the mud.

“While ringworm has a sort of scary name, it can be quite misleading. Ringworm is in fact, not a worm at all, but a fungal infection closely related to Athlete’s foot that can be shared by pets and their owners.

“Pets and people can be exposed to ringworm in nature from dirt, grass, trees, etc. or from coming into contact with a place or object that another individual with ringworm has touched.

“Ringworm generally presents as a red “rash” of sorts and dry flaking skin. Pet owners who notice any rash or hair loss on their animals should consult their veterinarian. Additionally, people who develop a rash should consult their physician.

“Animals with an unknown rash should not be taken to public places like the parks, groomers, or to interact with others until a veterinarian has deemed the animal free of infection. Treatments range from simple over the counter creams, and medicated baths, to oral anti-fungal medications in some cases.”

“The personal well-being of our staff, volunteers and the animals in our care remains as our highest priority,” says Deborah Titterton Narraway, Communications, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Bermuda SPCA.

“Although we are closed to the public, our phone line 236-7333 remains open; if you are looking to adopt, surrender an animal or have an animal emergency please call and we can guide you through your options.”

“This outbreak is not surprising given that the fungus thrives in hot and humid areas and we have had some uncharacteristic wet weather lately,” states Jodi Corbett, Education Officer. “The shelter takes in homeless animals who have been living outdoors and are exposed to these conditions.”

The Bermuda SPCA was founded in 1919 and is a Bermuda Registered Charity No. 86 as well as a US 501©(3) not-for-profit.

By Bernews