New York has become the epicenter of coronavirus in the United States with the highest number of active cases. Amid this serious situation, two cats in the city were tested positive for the new COVID-19 becoming the first pets affected by the deadly disease on Wednesday.
The Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement, the cats used to live in seperate areas of New York state. However, the agency emphasized there is no evidence that pets can spread coronavirus in the US.
“There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” they said.
“Both had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery,” they added. As per reports, the owner of the cats had earlier tested positive for the virus and then the pets started showing signs of coronavirus.
“The virus may have been transmitted to this cat by mildly ill or asymptomatic household members or through contact with an infected person outside its home,” said the statement.
Earlier, eight lions and tigers at a New York Bronx Zoo were also infected with the virus. They may have been infected by a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time. The CDC said officials are closely investing in coronavirus and pets.
When people are sick, officials said they should refrain from petting or snuggling their pets — and avoid being kissed or licked.They also suggested people limit interactions between their pets and people or animals outside the household. In New York, more than 15,000 people have been killed by COVID-19.