On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two pet cats located in New York State.
These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and both are expected to make a full recovery.
Out of an abundance of caution, Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital has proactively implemented enhanced biosecurity protocols for feline patients. These protocols - intended to safeguard the health and well-being of our patients, clients, and clinicians - have been in effect since Friday, April 10, 2020.
Penn Vet is actively monitoring this situation and remains in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the state Public Health veterinarian, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in order to develop and implement precautionary action, if and when appropriate. In addition, the diagnostic laboratories at Penn Vet are working under the guidance provided by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).
At this time, AAVLD does not recommend routine or blanket testing for SARS-CoV-2 of any animal species in North America. The decision to test a patient will be made collaboratively based on specific criteria assessed by the attending veterinarian and public health/animal health officials.
For more current information on animals and COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html