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Central Arkansas house cat tests positive for coronavirus

by Brianna Kwasnik | January 26, 2021 at 2:49 p.m.
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes covid-19. - Photo by NIAID-RML via AP

A nine-month-old house cat in Central Arkansas has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19 in humans, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed.

A neighborhood practice veterinarian chose to test the cat after finding "unusual signs of disease" and leaning the cat's owner had tested positive for covid-19, according to Danyelle McNeill, Department of Health spokeswoman.

The veterinarian told the Department of Health the cat appears to be recovered and healthy at this time, McNeill said.

According to the Department of Health, animals and pets can become infected with the virus that causes covid-19 in humans.

If a human tests positive for the virus, the department recommends they limit contact with pets and other animals to prevent the spread.

The department recommends an infected person have a family member or a friend care for pets while ill. If an infected person doesn't have access to other arrangements for the animal, the department recommends avoiding petting, snuggling, being licked, sharing food and sleeping on the same bed as the animal.

The department recommends an infected person wear a cloth face covering and wash their hands before and after feeding or handling the pet, or handling the pet's food or water.

Information is limited regarding the risk of pets spreading covid-19 to people, according to the Department of Health, however, the risk is considered to be low.


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