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Cat with Covid-19 ‘got virus from owners’

Rare: Case is UK first PICTURE: GETTY/iSTOCKPHOTO

A CAT has tested positive for Covid-19 for the first time in the UK — after apparently catching the virus from its owners.

Vets initially diagnosed the pet with feline herpes virus, a common cat respiratory infection. But a sample was sent for testing as part of a Glasgow university research programme — and coronavirus was confirmed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

‘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,’ said Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England. ‘The investigation suggests the infection was spread from humans to animal, and not the other way round. At this time, there is no evidence pets can transmit the disease to humans.’

The cat and its owners, who previously tested positive, have recovered.

The World Organisation for Animal Health earlier advised those with the virus to avoid kissing their animals. There have been reports of infected pet cats in France, Germany and the US.