The coronavirus might not be affecting the human species alone as two cats were reported to have been infected by the deadly virus in New York according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.
One of the cats got tested after it showed mild respiratory signs despite the owners of the cat not being confirmed to have the COVID-19 disease. It’s assumed this cats would have probably gotten the disease from asymptomatic household members or either through an infected person outside their homes according to the CDC.
The second cat’s owner got tested and was positive for the coronavirus while the animal also got tested after showing mild respiratory signs of the illness. Both cats live far apart from one another in the state and are expected to both make full recovery according to the CDC.
The department said routine testing of animals is not recommended at this time and state animal health and public health officials will take the lead in making determinations about whether animals should be tested.
As of now, there is no evidence that pets play a role in the spread of the virus and further studies are needed to better understand how different animals including pets get affected by the virus.
The Bronx Zoo on Wednesday reported hat an additional three lions and three tigers tested positive for the deadly virus. There have been an initial announcement back in April 5th that a 4 years old tiger tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease after it developed a dry cough. World Health Organization officials said they’re investigating several cases where pets appear to have been infected with the coronavirus by their human caretakers.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead in a study conducted on cats in Wuhan found that pets can also be infected with the coronavirus. She also added that the World Health officials don’t believe animals are playing a role in transmission to humans but humans can infect animals.
It’s “really important we remain respectful and kind” to the animals that are likely to be co-infected with humans, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said at the press conference.
“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.”