New York cats diagnosed with coronavirus in first confirmed US pet cases

Those nine lives might come in handy.

Two pet cats in the Empire State have tested positive for the coronavirus, in the first diagnoses of domestic animals on American soil, a report said Wednesday.

It’s believed that the furballs, which are expected to make full recoveries, contracted the illness from their owners or other humans that crossed their paths, officials from the US Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press.

The agencies said that the cats live in different parts of the state, but did not identify the specific areas.

While these cases mark the first apparent human-to-animal coronavirus transmissions in the US, there remains no evidence that the disease can go the other way.

“We don’t want people to panic. We don’t want people to be afraid of pets,” Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, of the CDC told the outlet. “There’s no evidence that pets are playing a role in spreading this disease to people.”

Still, the agency recommended that for the time being people keep their pets at home and on a tight leash, so to speak.

Additionally, people with COVID-19 should avoid contact with their pets as much as possible, and take precautions such as wearing a face covering when tending to them.

In extreme cases, veterinarians can test animals for the bug, using kits distinct from the ones meant for humans that have been in such short supply, Behravesh said.

Earlier this month, more than a half-dozen tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo tested positive.

It’s believed that, like their smaller, domesticated cousins, they caught the contagion from their caretakers.

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