UK reports 1st confirmed case of COVID-19 in animal

  27 July 2020    Read: 755
UK reports 1st confirmed case of COVID-19 in animal

Britain's Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss confirmed Monday that the virus responsible for COVID-19 has been detected in a pet cat in the country, reports citing Xinhua.

This is the first confirmed case of an animal infection with the coronavirus strain in Britain, and the infection was confirmed following tests at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on July 22.

However, there is "no evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change," said Middlemiss.

All available evidence suggests that the cat contracted the coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, and the cat and its owners have since made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other animals or people in the household, according to a statement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

"This is a very rare event with infected animals detected to date only showing mild clinical signs and recovering within a few days," said Middlemiss.

The advice from the Public Health England is for people to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

Meanwhile, Britain is taking more precautionary measures to prevent the increase of COVID-19 cases.

People returning to Britain from Spain (including islands) from midnight July 25 will need to self-isolate for two weeks, with the country removed from the travel corridors list, the British government has announced.

Following a significant change recently in both the level and pace of change in confirmed cases, Spain has been removed from the list of countries where people do not have to self-isolate when arriving into Britain, the government explained.

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