Coronavirus found in deceased cat in Opelika

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FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – State health and agriculture officials are investigating after the coronavirus was found in a dead cat. The Alabama Department of Public Health said Thursday testing confirmed that a deceased cat in Opelika tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Coronavirus cases in animals are thought to be very rare. The department said less than 10 animal deaths in the United States are thought to have been associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, said there seems to be no evidence suggesting that companion animals are responsible for infecting people.

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