Cat Catches Coronavirus, Quarantined for Two Weeks

Mish

This is not an April Fools Joke. A Belgium cat displayed coronavirus symptoms and tested positive.

First Case of Human-to-Cat Transmission

Live Science reports Cat Infected with COVID-19 from Owner in Belgium.

A domestic cat in Belgium has been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that's spreading across the globe, the government's FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment announced March 27, according to news reports.

This is the first human-to-cat transmission of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). About a week after its owner got sick with COVID-19, after returning from a trip to Northern Italy, the cat developed coronavirus symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory issues, Steven Van Gucht, virologist and federal spokesperson for the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, told Live Science.

The owner sent samples of vomit and feces to Dr. Daniel Desmecht's lab at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Liège. Genetic tests showed high levels of SARS-CoV-2 in those samples, he said. "The cat recovered after 9 days," Van Gucht said.

In humans, scientists have figured out that the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to a receptor protein called ACE2 that's on the outside of respiratory cells. Once inside of these cells, the virus hijacks certain machinery so it can replicate. 

"The feline ACE2 protein resembles the human ACE2 homologue, which is most likely the cellular receptor which is being used by Sars-CoV-2 for cell entry," Van Gucht said.

During the 2003 SARS outbreak, cats were infected with a coronavirus as well, Van Gucht said. 

Pertinent Thought

Given that receptors appear to be the same, if humans can infect cats, then it's logical to presume cats can infect humans.

Questions of the Day

  • Does your cat wear a mask?
  • Is your cat social distancing?
  • Are you maintaining proper social distance from your cat?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (31)
No. 1-12
Tengen
Tengen

Well, on the bright side, cats are probably more inclined toward maintaining social distancing than dogs. If Fido tests positive we're all in trouble!

Sechel
Sechel

since cats are generally kept indoors with their owner and was infected by the owner it doesn't sound like a major concern

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Time to quarantine my laptop ...

Freebees2me
Freebees2me

I only wish this was an April Fools Day prank... God help us all...

This is NOT going away any time soon...

Blurtman
Blurtman

It’s whats for dinner in China.

abend237-04
abend237-04

The cat's thinking, "Wait, you brought WHAT home with you?" You've really screwed the pooch this time..."

MATHGAME
MATHGAME

For some early morning insanity ... I suggest a Google search for "Wuhan wet market reopens"

Sechel
Sechel

#CATastrophe
#CATaclysm

RunnrDan
RunnrDan

Felines don't generally get sick from humans, but it turns out this one was a real pussy!

Jojo
Jojo

Could We Be Living With COVID-19 Forever?
There are four coronaviruses already endemic in the human population. COVID-19 could become the fifth.
By Nathaniel Scharping
March 30, 2020 9:14 AM

Stuki
Stuki

A cat just tested positive in Hong Kong as well.

It looks like the virus has discovered a hitherto unknown, widely shared commonality among different mammals, from bats to humans to felines to snakes (ugh, those aren't even mammals.....) to ......, and is exploiting this to infect new hosts. Similar to hackers discovering an exploit in fundamental code libraries widely relied on across platforms and applications.

Pets may get tested, wildlife is highly unlikely to (Hong Kong should test some of the monkeys they have crowding some roads in the New Territories). Yet considering how far and wide humans have spread the virus, it may well become endemic across all manners of species all across the world.

And military strategists, as well as evolutionary anthropologists, are still amazed by Genghis' speed of conquest, rape and pillage in the quest to spread his genes..... Compared to this stuff, human expansion is amateur hour.


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