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UK - Official press release on first pet cat confirming positive for COVID-19 - July 27, 2020

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  • UK - Official press release on first pet cat confirming positive for COVID-19 - July 27, 2020


    Press release

    COVID-19 confirmed in pet cat in the UK


    The virus responsible for COVID-19 has been detected in a pet cat in the UK.

    Published 27 July 2020

    From:Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Animal and Plant Health Agency

    The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that the virus responsible for COVID-19 has been detected in a pet cat in the UK.

    The infection was confirmed following tests at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on Wednesday 22 July.

    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 transmission of the disease to its owners or that pets or other domestic animals are able to transmit the virus to people.

    The advice from Public Health England is for people to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

    All available evidence suggests that the cat contracted the coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for COVID-19. The cat and its owners have since made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other animals or people in the household.

    Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:
    Tests conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency have confirmed that the virus responsible for COVID-19 has been detected in a pet cat in England.

    This is a very rare event with infected animals detected to date only showing mild clinical signs and recovering within in a few days.

    There is no evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change.

    Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said:
    This is the first case of a domestic cat testing positive for COVID-19 in the UK but should not be a cause for alarm.

    The investigation into this case suggest that the infection was spread from humans to animal, and not the other way round. At this time, there is no evidence that pets can transmit the disease to humans.

    In line with the general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

    The pet cat was initially diagnosed by a private vet with feline herpes virus, a common cat respiratory infection, but the sample was also tested for SARS-CoV-2 as part of a research programme. Follow-up samples tested at the APHA laboratory in Weybridge confirmed the cat was also co-infected with SARS-CoV2 which is the virus known to cause COVID-19 in humans.

    Pet owners can access the latest government guidance on how to continue to care for their animals during the coronavirus pandemic.

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

    Notes to editors:


    The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has also produced a factsheet outlining the latest science on infection in animals which can be accessed here.


    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/c...-cat-in-the-uk

  • #2
    SARS-COV-2,
    United Kingdom
    Information received on 27/07/2020 from Dr Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer, DEFRA, Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs , London, United Kingdom
    Summary
    Report type Immediate notification (Final report)
    Date of start of the event 15/05/2020
    Date of confirmation of the event 20/07/2020
    Report date 27/07/2020
    Date submitted to OIE 27/07/2020
    Date event resolved 24/07/2020
    Reason for notification Emerging disease
    Morbidity 2 (scale 0 to 5)
    Mortality 0 (scale 0 to 5)
    Zoonotic impact Zoonotic potential currently unknown.
    Causal agent SARS-COV-2
    New outbreaks (1)
    Outbreak 1 (SARS-COV-2 2020/001) South England, England
    Date of start of the outbreak 15/05/2020
    Outbreak status Resolved (24/07/2020)
    Epidemiological unit Not applicable
    Affected animals
    Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
    Cats 2 1 0 0 0
    Affected population One domestic cat
    Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
    Total animals affected
    Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
    Cats 2 1 0 0 0
    Outbreak statistics
    Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
    Cats 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    *Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
    Epidemiology
    Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
    • Suspected human to animal transmission
    Epidemiological comments A domestic cat from a COVID positive household was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. The cat was showing respiratory signs indicative of Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) and a swab was taken for confirmation in May. FHV test was positive and the SARS-CoV-2 test was undertaken as part of a surveillance project in a private laboratory. On receipt of the result, the private veterinary notified Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and repeated testing of the original sample, a new oral swab and a new blood sample (both taken in July) were tested. The original sample was retested positive, a new oral swab was negative, and the blood sample was positive to the virus neutralisation test. A second cat in the household was tested negative by PCR and virus neutralisation. The positive cat completely recovered, and as PCR was negative on retest, and antibody positive, the case is considered resolved. Nota bene: The outbreak location used is that of the National Laboratory at Weybridge, to protect any data relating to human cases.
    Control measures
    Measures applied
    • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
    • No treatment of affected animals
    Measures to be applied
    • No other measures
    Diagnostic test results
    Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
    Weybridge Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 10/07/2020 Positive
    Weybridge National Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 10/07/2020 Negative
    Weybridge National Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats virus neutralisation test (VNT) 20/07/2020 Positive
    Non-Official Laboratory (Private Laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 25/06/2020 Positive
    Future Reporting
    The event is resolved. No more reports will be submitted.

    ...
    https://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/w...reportid=35182
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

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