COVID-19 Confirmed in Cat in the UK

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A pet cat has tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.  The British government has confirmed the news today.

It is the first case of an animal in the UK having the virus. Other countries in Europe, America and Asia have already found cases of coronavirus in pets.

In a press release the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: ”The infection was confirmed following tests at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on Wednesday 22 July.

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Although this is the first confirmed case of an animal infection with the coronavirus strain in the UK, there is no evidence to suggest that the animal was involved in transmission of the disease to its owners or that pets or other domestic animals are able to transmit the virus to people …

All available evidence suggests that the cat contracted the coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for Covid-19. The cat and its owners have since made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other animals or people in the household.

The pet cat was initially diagnosed by a private vet with feline herpes virus, a common cat respiratory infection, but the sample was also tested for SARS-CoV-2 as part of a research programme. Follow-up samples tested at the APHA laboratory in Weybridge confirmed the cat was also co-infected with SARS-CoV2 which is the virus known to cause Covid-19 in humans.”

World Organisation
for Animal Health