COVID: South Korea launches test for pet cats and dogs

Pet cats and dogs in Seoul, South Korea will be tested for Covid-19 if they show symptoms, the government said.

It comes after the country reported its first Covid-19 case in an animal – a kitten. Only pets which show symptoms like fever or breathing difficulties after being exposed to human carriers of the virus will be tested. The pet must quarantine at home if it tests positive for the virus.

It is not necessary for the pet to be sent into an isolation facility as there is no evidence Covid-19 can be spread between humans and pets, said a disease control official. But if the pet’s owners are hospitalized with COVID-19, or are too ill or too old to take care of it, the pet will be taken into quarantine at a city-run facility.

Last month, a kitten at a religious facility in Jinju City was found to be infected. Health authorities suspect a mother and daughter, who were staying at the facility, passed the virus on to the kitten. Both have tested positive for COVID-19.

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