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Cat contracts COVID-19

Tuesday July 28th 2020

The first case of a cat infected with COVID-19 has been found in the UK, it has been announced – although there is no evidence of transmission between animals.

The discovery came through a screening programme under way at Glasgow University checking for signs of animal transmission of the virus.

Researchers discovered that the animal contracted the virus from its owner – and there was no indication of any human or other animals being infected from the cat.

Scientists have completed a full genome sequence of the virus found in the cat – and confirmed that infection came from its owners. The owners and the animal have all recovered, they reported yesterday.

Researcher Professor Margaret Hosie said: “There have been sporadic reports of cats from COVID-19 households in Hong Kong, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the USA that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were presumed to be infected from their owners, but this is the first report of an infected cat in the UK.

“All available evidence suggests that the cat was infected from its owners, who had previously tested positive. The cat and its owners have since made a full recovery and there was no transmission of the virus to other animals or people in the household.”

Veterinary specialist Professor William Weir said: “At present, there is no evidence that cats, dogs or other domestic animals play any role in the epidemiology of human infections with SARS-CoV-2.

"Furthermore, the significance of SARS-CoV-2 as a feline or canine pathogen is unknown as cats and dogs with reported infections usually recover and there has been no evidence of transmission occurring between cats or dogs in the field.”

Tags: Flu & Viruses | UK News

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