A 16-year old Cumberland County cat was euthanized recently due to complications from coronavirus.
The cat is the first reported feline transmission of the COVID-19 virus in Pennsylvania, according to a state Department of Agriculture news release Tuesday.
The case was still under investigation when State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill made the announcement, and the release states the primary cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
The cat lived in a home with multiple people previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and began showing signs of mild respiratory illness earlier this month.
Only a handful of pets have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and then later euthanized throughout the country.
“As Pennsylvanians have spent more time at home throughout the pandemic, our companion animals have undoubtedly been the recipients of extra love and attention,” Brightbill said Tuesday.
All of the confirmed cases among pets in the country have had known prolonged exposure to people with the coronavirus
Those pets have so far all died of complications from the coronavirus exacerbating an existing condition that was their primary cause of death.
People living with pets and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are advised to isolate from their animals, the same as they would with their human housemates.
The coronavirus has been in a resurgence recently as over 1,000 new cases have been reported in the commonwealth each day for the past two weeks.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported an additional 1,557 new cases in the commonwealth Tuesday afternoon, bringing the statewide total of COVID-19 cases to 184,872.
Total deaths rose by 33 individuals Tuesday as well, now raising the death toll of COVID-19 to an estimated 8,533 people.
Health officials have said the dropping temperatures will mean more people spending time inside, where the coronavirus is more likely to spread.