By The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State health and agriculture officials are investigating after the coronavirus was found in a dead cat, officials said Thursday.
The Alabama Department of Public Health said testing confirmed that a deceased cat in Opelika tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the strain of the virus that causes COVID-19. Veterinary pathologists don’t believe the virus was the primary cause of the cat’s death because it had signs of a bacterial infection.
Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in animals are thought to be very rare, and have primarily occurred 5 to 10 days following exposure to a positive human, state health officials said. The department said less than 10 animal deaths in the United States are thought to have been associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, said there seems to be no evidence suggesting that companion animals are responsible for infecting people.