Owners warned to stop kissing pets as latest in UK to sound alert about cat infected with coronavirus

A six-year-old Siamese cat has become the first animal in the UK to be infected with coronavirus, just weeks after the United States announced the first infection in two domestic cats in New York State.

The UK Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed that the virus responsible for COVID-19 was detected in the pet cat in the UK. He suffered from shortness of breath.

An increasing number of pets have caught the virus, but infections have been reported in relatively few animals worldwide.

In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories of the US Department of Agriculture announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two cats domestic.

Around the same time, a 17-year-old Pomeranian dog died after being removed from the coronavirus in Hong Kong, and a Malay tiger tested positive at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

In the UK, the infection was confirmed after testing in the Animal and Plant Health Agency laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey.

Veterinary Director Christine Middlemiss said: “All available evidence suggests that the cat contracted the coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the cat and its owners made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other animals or people in the home.

“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 transmitting the disease to its owners or that pets or other domestic animals may transmit the virus to people. “

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The case has been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health in line with international commitments. There have been a very small number of confirmed pet cases in other countries in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Experts have warned owners not to kiss their cats, 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. Don’t let the cat sleep in a bed with you and don’t share food with the cat. “

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