Two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the COVID-19, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the US, federal officials said Wednesday.
The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses, are thought to have contracted it from people in their households or neighbourhoods, the US Department of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“We don’t want people to panic. We don’t want people to be afraid of pets” or to rush to test them en masse, said Dr Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC official who works on human-animal health connections. “There’s no evidence that pets are playing a role in spreading this disease to people.”