ROCHESTER, Minn. -- It sounds like a story by Dr. Seuss, if it wasn't so serious: A Carver County cat has contracted the COVID.
The animal was recently brought to a veterinarian after its owner had tested positive for COVID-19 a week earlier.
The cat presented for examination with a fever of 105 and upper respiratory symptoms. The veterinarian collected samples, and the test later returned positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, according to a statement released Tuesday, June 3, by Michael Crusan of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Upon recommendation by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Health, the cat remained at home for 14 days following the visit. The animal recovered after five days, officials said. A dog also lives in the house, health officials said, but it has not contracted the illness at this time.
Coronaviruses are viruses shared by animals that can jump to humans. Cats have contracted SARS-CoV-2 elsewhere in the country, but this is the first such case in Minnesota.
All workers at the veterinary clinic wore personal protection equipment, officials said. Although testing animals for SARS-COV-2 does not take test materials from humans, widespread testing of animals for the virus at this time is not recommended.
“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.”
The board of animal health says those who are sick and must care for a pet should wear a cloth mask and wash hands before and after holding them.
As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status. If this coverage is important to you, please consider supporting local journalism by clicking on the subscribe button in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.