Pet cats and dogs with a fever, cough or breathing difficulties will beoffered coronavirus tests if they have been exposed to carriers, the Seoulmetropolitan government said Monday.
The programme in the sprawling South Korean capital comes weeks after thecountry reported its first case of Covid-19 infection in an animal, involvinga kitten.
“Starting today, the Seoul metropolitan government will offer coronavirustests for pet dogs and cats,” Park Yoo-mi, a Seoul city official handlingdisease 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 humanswho have tested positive, she added.
The test will be conducted near the animal’s home by a team of health workersincluding a veterinarian, Park said.
Animals that test positive will be required to be kept isolated at home for 14days, but where owners have the virus their pets will be sent to separatekennels or catteries — human patients in South Korea are generally confined incentral quarantine facilities if they do not need hospital treatment.
Around the world several animals — including dogs and cats — have testedpositive for the coronavirus, which has killed more than two million peopleworldwide.
At least two gorillas at California’s San Diego Zoo tested positive for thevirus last month, believed to have been transmitted from an asymptomatic zooworker.
In Denmark — the world’s biggest producer of mink fur — an outbreak of amutated version of the coronavirus at mink farms last year prompted a cullingof all of the country’s mink.
Image: South Korea reported its first case of Covid-19 infection in an animalweeks ago
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