Two months after two cats in New York had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a detailed report on what occurred, including important information for other pet parents.
The report showed that the first cat, a four-year-old male domestic shorthair carried the virus for eight days. He had symptoms “characterized by sneezing, clear ocular discharge and mild lethargy.” The second cat, on the other hand, is a five-year-old female Devon Rex who “developed respiratory illness including sneezing, coughing, watery nasal and ocular discharge, loss of appetite and lethargy.”
The male cat lived in Nassau County in New York, while the other cat lived in Orange County, New York. Both cats made full recovery, and no transmission from the cats (to other animals or humans) was reported.
CDC noted that pets contracting the virus is a very unlikely occurrence, but advised pet parents not to ignore this.
“Although there is currently no evidence that animals play a substantial role in spreading COVID-19, CDC advises persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to restrict contact with animals during their illness and to monitor any animals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and separate them from other persons and animals at home,” CDC says.
If there are other pets that tested positive for the virus, CDC says they should be monitored and separated from other people and animals until they recover.
Earlier this year, CDC released a guideline concerning coronavirus and animals, noting that owners should look out for symptoms in their pets. This included fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing, sneezing and discharge from the nose or eyes. They also recommend people with symptoms of COVID-19 to limit their interactions with pets as little as possible.
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