A pet cat has been contaminated with coronavirus in the first known case of its kind in the United Kingdom.
The COVID 19 virus was discovered in the animal following tests by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Weybridge, Surrey.
The cat and its owners, are being kept nameless, and have made a complete recovery.
This is the first confirmed case of an animal infection with the coronavirus strain in the United Kingdom after a tiny number was discovered in Europe, North America and Asia, and the government have said that there was no proof to propose the animal spread the disease to its owners.
Instead, a government spokesperson said that all obtainable evidence suggested that the cat got the coronavirus from its owners who’d earlier tested positive for COVID 19. However, there’s been no transmission to other animals or people in the household.
A private vet initially diagnosed the cat with the feline herpes virus after its owners noticed it was unwell.
However, the sample was then tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID 19, as part of a research programme.
Follow up samples confirmed the cat had indeed been co-infected with SARS-CoV-2, and Downing Street said the cat had nasal discharge and some shortness of breath that prompted its owners to go to the vet.
No 10 said the incident followed animal infections in countries including France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, the US, China and Hong Kong.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said there was no indication that pets or other domestic animals directly spread the virus to people, but that if your pet is unwell, you should, of course, keep it inside until such time as it’s recovered. However, if you’re adequately concerned you can take your pet to the vet.
On another rather interesting note, a veterinarian centre in China found out that cats are particularly receptive to the virus, but what made them look in the first place?
So, now we know that cats can catch the virus. But the problem now, is that there are so many cats in the United Kingdom, they could end up spreading the virus with ease, so does that mean the government will say that we have to cull all cats just in case?
Don’t worry folks, nobody’s killing any cats – at the moment!
And it does seem pretty questionable, what will they come up with next? It’s in the tap water, so you can only buy bottles? Or we’ll have cats social distancing and wearing face masks next.
But even more troubling, now all people who are paranoid about coronavirus and all those who despise cats in the community will now believe they have the green light to get rid of or harm them.