Seoul Will Now Test Cats and Dogs with COVID-19 Symptoms

coronavirus pets

A few weeks after the first coronavirus case in an animal was reported in South Korea, Seoul announced its plans to test pet cats and dogs with COVID-19 symptoms.

Initiated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the tests will only be given to pets who have been exposed to human virus carriers and who show signs such as breathing difficulties or a fever, BBC reports.

Less than a month ago, a pet kitten at a religious facility in the city of Jinju tested positive for COVID-19, according to Yonhap News. The kitten is suspected to have caught the virus from a human mother and daughter staying at the facility. Both of them had tested positive for COVID-19.

Disease control official Park Yoo-mi said during a virtual press briefing that infected pets will need to be quarantined at home. Park noted that since there has been no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from pets to humans, a pet with COVID-19 does not have to be sent to an isolation facility. 

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In South Korea, human patients who do not need hospital treatment are placed in quarantine facilities. According to Park, pets with owners who are either too old, too ill or hospitalized due to the virus will be taken into a state quarantine facility.

Park cautioned the public to keep their pets “at least two meters (6 feet) away from people and other pets when walking them.”

Feature Image via Getty

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