Minnesota animal health officials say that a cat has become the first pet in the state to be confirmed as having the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
The virus was confirmed in a cat in Carver County, seven days after its owner was confirmed as being infected with COVID-19.
A dog in the same household has no symptoms at this time, while the cat is said to have recovered.
Nonetheless, the owner has to keep the cat in isolation at home for 14 days following the results, per the Minnesota Board of Animal Health
There have been numerous reports across the world of animals becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, and while there have been confirmed cases where pets/animals passed it on to people, scientists believe the chances of transmission are remote compared to human-to-human transmission, per Nature.com.
In the Carver County incidence, the cat had a fever of 105F and symptoms of an upper respiratory illness.
"All veterinary clinic staff reported wearing personal protective equipment including face masks when interacting with the owner and handling the cat to limit any potential spread of the virus," the Minnesota Department of Animal Health said.
"At this time, there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading COVID-19 to people or other animals” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Beth Thompson.
"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."
Anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID is told to restrict their contact with others inside their household, including pets.