As scientists around the world battle for a cure or vaccine to Covid-19, a new case of human-to-animal transmission has arisen in Belgium, where health experts say a cat contracted the disease from its coronavirus-stricken owner.
Just one week after the pet owner in Liege, Belgium was diagnosed with Covid-19, their cat also started showing symptoms of the disease, including respiratory problems and diarrhea.
As panic over the outbreak keeps gaining ground, spokesman for Belgium's coronavirus crisis center, Emmanuel Andre, tried to reassure the public that the infected animal was an “isolated case.”
“There is no reason to think that animals are vectors of the epidemic,” he told local media, and the risk of people becoming sick from their pet remains extremely low. Andre added that the cat contracted the disease due to “close contact between the animal and the master.”
FILE PHOTO © Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova
There has only been one other known case to date involving a pet becoming infected with Covid-19 by its owner. In early March, a dog in Hong Kong was placed in quarantine after it tested “weakly positive” for the virus.
As for the human toll of the coronavirus in Belgium, 289 people have died, with 1,049 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours bringing the total cases there since the pandemic began to 7,284.