Pet cats and dogs with a fever, cough or breathing difficulties will be offered coronavirus tests if they have been exposed to carriers, said the Seoul metropolitan government on Monday. The programme in the South Korean capital comes weeks after the country reported its first case of COVID-19 infection in an animal. A kitten tested positive for the virus
“Starting today, the Seoul metropolitan government will offer coronavirus tests for pet dogs and cats,” Park Yoo-mi, a Seoul city official handling disease control, told reporters.
Tests will be limited to pets that show symptoms — including fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and runny noses — after coming into contact with humans who have tested positive, she added. The test will be conducted near the animal’s home by a team of health workers including a veterinarian, said Park.
Around the world several animals — including dogs and cats — have tested positive for the coronavirus, a disease which has killed more than two million people worldwide. At least two gorillas at California’s San Diego Zoo tested positive for the virus last month, believed to have been transmitted from an asymptomatic zoo worker. In Denmark — the world’s biggest producer of mink fur — an outbreak of a mutated version of the coronavirus at mink farms last year prompted a culling of all of the country’s mink.