Researchers at the Université de Montréal, led by Dr. Cécile Aenishaenslin of the faculty of veterinary medicine, have diagnosed the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a cat in Quebec, according to a press release from the university.
"It's a cat from the greater Montreal area that was likely contaminated by its owners," Dr. Aenishaenslin said in an interview with the school's newsroom. "It was isolated as is done with people who have tested positive for coronavirus."
The cat's diagnosis was first reported on February 25.
Dr. Aenishaenslin and her team are out to "study the risk of infection in cats in Quebec and Western Canada," the university says.
"Our study has two main objectives: to determine the frequency of infection in cats exposed to an infected human and to identify the risk factors for cats," the veterinarian added.
"Many questions remain. Do infected animals have sufficient viral load to transmit the disease to humans in their care? Is the virus found in felines different from that present in their owners?"
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