The six-year-old Siamese cat became the first animal in the UK to be infected with the coronavirus just weeks after the U.S. announced the first infection to two domestic cats in New York State.
The UK chief veterinarian confirmed that the virus responsible for COVID-19 had been detected in the UK. He experienced shortness of breath.
More and more pets are being caught by the virus, but relatively few animals have been registered worldwide.
In April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the laboratories of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two domestic cats.
Around the same time, a 17-year-old Pomeranian dog died removed from a coronavirus in Hong Kong, and a Malay Tiger female test was positive at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
In the United Kingdom, the infection was confirmed by tests carried out in a laboratory at the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Weybridge, Surrey.
Chief veterinarian Christine Middlemiss said: “All the available evidence suggests that the cat was infected with coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the cat and its owners have fully recovered and have not been transmitted to other animals or domestic animals.
“Although this is the first confirmed case of an animal being infected with a coronavirus strain in the UK, there is no evidence to suggest that the animal was involved in transmitting the disease to its owners or that pets or other pets can transmit the virus to humans. “
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The case was reported to the World Organization for Animal Health in accordance with international obligations. Very few cases have been confirmed involving pets in other European, North American and Asian countries.
Experts have warned owners not to kiss their cats, not to share food or sleep with them. Margaret Hosie, a professor of comparative virology at the University of Glasgow, told the Guardian: “Don’t kiss your cat. You should not have the cat sleep with you in bed and do not share food with the cat. “
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