A Belgian woman has infected her cat with the coronavirus, according to the country’s Public Health Department (FPS).
“The veterinary medicine faculty in Liège reported that a coronavirus infection has been determined in a cat. The cat lived with her owner, who started showing symptoms of the virus a week before the cat did,” said professor Steven Van Gucht at a news conference..
The animal lived in close contact with its owner, and started showing symptoms a week after the woman did.
“The cat had diarrhoea, kept vomiting and had breathing difficulties. The researchers found the virus in the cat’s faeces,” he said.
Worldwide, it has been highly exceptional for the virus to pass from human to animal. So far, only three cases where the pet has been infected by humans are known across the world.
It’s unclear whether the cat is still alive or not.
“We want to stress that this is an isolated case. Additionally, in this case, we are talking about a human-to-animal transmission, not the other way around,” said Van Gucht. “There are no indications that this is common. The risk of animal-to-human transmission is very small.”