Two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the first domesticated animals in the U.S. reported to have the virus, according to news reports.
On Wednesday (April 22), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the two cats had developed mild respiratory illness before testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. The animals live in different parts of the state, and both are expected to recover.
—Coronavirus in the US: Map & cases
—What are coronavirus symptoms?
—How deadly is the new coronavirus?
—How long does coronavirus last on surfaces?
—Is there a cure for COVID-19?
—How does coronavirus compare with seasonal flu?
—How does the coronavirus spread?
—Can people spread the coronavirus after they recover?
It’s thought that the cats caught the virus from their owners or people in their neighborhood, according to WPMI, an NBC News affiliate. In one case, the cat’s owner was diagnosed with COVID-19 before the cat showed symptoms. In the second case, a person in the household developed a respiratory illness for a short period before the cat became sick, although the individual was not confirmed to have COVID-19. In this latter case, the cat also went outdoors at times, so the animal may have been exposed to an infected person in the neighborhood, WPMI reported.
Last month, a cat in Belgium was found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 after its owner tested positive, Live Science previously reported. In the U.S., a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19 in early April.
There is currently no evidence of the virus spreading from cats to people.
“We don’t want people to panic. We don’t want people to be afraid of pets” or to rush to test them en masse, said Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC official who works on human-animal health connections, WPMI reported. “There’s no evidence that pets are playing a role in spreading this disease to people.”
- The 12 deadliest viruses on Earth
- 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history
- 11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across species
Originally published on Live Science.
OFFER: Save 45% on ‘How It Works’ ‘All About Space’ and ‘All About History’!
For a limited time, you can take out a digital subscription to any of our best-selling science magazines for just $2.38 per month, or 45% off the standard price for the first three months.View Deal
Source: Read Full Article