A pet cat has tested positive for the dreaded Covid-19 coronavirus in Hong Kong, after apparently contracting the disease from its owner. Last week, another feline turned out to have the virus in Belgium.
The Hong Kong cat patient was sent to a special animal quarantine facility on Monday, after its owner, a 25-year-old woman, was confirmed to have contracted the disease. Samples collected from the feline’s oral, nasal and rectal cavities tested positive for the virus, but it did not show any symptoms.
“The cat has not shown any signs of disease,” a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, 27 dogs and 15 cats had been held in the quarantine facility. Four of them have already returned home. Earlier this month, two dogs tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong – a Pomeranian and a German Shepard. The Pomeranian died two days after being released from quarantine, yet its demise was linked to its progressive age, rather than to the virus – the dog was 17-years-old.
The other dog remains quarantined despite repeatedly testing negative, according to local media reports.
Last Thursday, a cat tested positive for coronavirus in Belgium, after contracting the disease from its owner. Unlike in Hong Kong, the feline did exhibit symptoms of the disease, namely vomiting, diarrhea, and having troubles breathing.
While the news is surely alarming for pet owners, the number of confirmed human-to-animal transmissions is dwarfed by Covid-19’s toll on humans. Earlier in the day, the global coronavirus tally skyrocketed past 800,000, while the death toll reached well over 41,000.