First Case, Cat Infected with Delta Variant of Covid-19 with Symptoms of Digestive Problems

Suara.com – For the first time, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have documented the recovery period of a cat infected with the Delta AY.3 variant of the coronavirus.

The 11-year-old domestic cat was initially taken to the hospital due to troublesome gastrointestinal, or digestive, symptoms.

One week earlier, the owner had tested positive for Covid-19 and had been isolated from the cat and other family members for 11 days.

Unfortunately, a few days later the cat developed symptoms such as lethargy, difficulty eating, vomiting, and soft stools.

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This cat’s immune system is compromised due to a suspected history of chronic enteropathy and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

Pet Cat (Photo: Unsplash.com/calvin)
Pet Cat (Photo: Unsplash.com/calvin)

On examination, the cat’s heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature were normal. But the animal showed discomfort on abdominal palpation (abdominal examination technique).

Doctors also took a stool sample and a throat swab to test for SARS-CoV-2. Both samples showed the cat was infected with Covid-19.

This is the first case in cats. Previously, the variant was more common in humans and one in domestic dogs, reports News Medical Life Sciences.

This study provides yet another evidence that the Delta variant can spread to animals and a warning that the virus has the potential to thrive in non-human hosts.

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According to researchers, cats have the potential to be a reservoir of the virus.

“This highlights the need to closely track the SARS-CoV-2 variant in domestic cats to better understand the nature of the relationship between animal and human health in this pandemic.”