Feline infectious peritonitis. Thought to be caused by a mutation of the feline coronavirus that leads to invasion of white blood cells and a strong inflammatory reaction, which is usually fatal. Though the virus can be transmitted by exposure to feces and cat-to-cat contact, only a small percentage of infected cats progress to clinical FIP. By the time symptoms are evident, the disease is being driven by the immune system and diseased kittens and cats are not shedding signicifant quantities of the virus.
See http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html for more information.
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