Carver County cat is first animal in Minnesota diagnosed with COVID-19

A Carver County house cat is the first animal in Minnesota to be diagnosed with COVID-19, state officials said Tuesday.

Shortly after its owner tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the cat was brought to a veterinary clinic with with a 105-degree fever and symptoms of an upper respiratory illness, according to a news release issued by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

Although the cat recovered within five days of its initial clinic visit, health officials recommended the cat remain isolated for 14 days following its positive COVID-19 test results.

A dog also lives in the household, but it remains healthy so far, the news release said.

“At this time, there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading COVID-19 to people or other animals” State Veterinarian Beth Thompson said in the news release. “It’s always important to isolate ill pets from healthy people and pets when possible, just as ill people should be isolated from healthy people and pets. If you suspect your pet is ill, contact your veterinarian.”

Although this is the first known case of an animal contracting COVID-19 in Minnesota, a handful others have been detected elsewhere in the United States, including a lion, a tiger and two more house cats in New York. On Monday, federal animal health investigators announced that further testing had ruled out infection of a North Carolina dog suspected of having COVID-19.

At this time, routine testing testing of animals for COVID-19 is not recommended, health officials said.


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