Two cats in New York test positive for coronavirus
Two cats in New York have tested positive for coronavirus, making them the first pets infected by the virus in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Wednesday.
One of the cats was tested after it showed mild respiratory symptoms, although its owners were not confirmed to contract coronavirus.
This cat may have contracted the virus by mildly ill or asymptomatic household members or through contact with an infected person outside its home, the CDC said.
As for the second cat, its owner had tested positive for the coronavirus and the pet was also tested after showing signs of respiratory illness.
To date, there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus. Further studies are needed to determine if and understand how different animals, including pets, could be affected by the virus, the CDC said.
On April 5, the Bronx Zoo announced that a 4-year-old tiger named Nadia tested positive for coronavirus after developing a dry cough.
Later on Wednesday, the Zoo announced that an additional three tigers and three lions have tested positive.
According to a study conducted on cats in Wuhan, it has been found that the pets could be infected with the coronavirus. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) technical lead on the outbreak, said the world health officials don’t believe that the animals are playing a role in transmission to humans, although humans can infect animals.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said it is “really important we remain respectful and kind” to the animals that are likely to be co-infected with humans.
“They’re beings in their own right, and they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect,” Ryan said.
“They’re victims like the rest of us.”