Seoul | Cats and dogs with fever, cough or breathing difficulties can be tested for coronavirus in South Korea, if they have been exposed to people with the disease, the Seoul metropolitan government said on Monday.
The launch of this program comes a few weeks after the country’s announcement of its first case of COVID-19 contamination in an animal, in this case a kitten.
“Starting today, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will offer testing for the coronavirus to domestic dogs and cats,” a disease prevention official in the capital, Park Yoo-mi told reporters. .
Only animals that show symptoms and that have been in contact with people who test positive can be tested.
The test will be carried out near the animal’s place of residence by a team including a veterinarian, said Mme Park.
Animals declared positive must be isolated at home for 14 days. But if their owners have the virus, they will be placed in kennels or specialized reception centers.
In South Korea, people who test positive are usually isolated in quarantine centers if their condition does not require hospitalization.
Elsewhere in the world, several cats and dogs have tested positive for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 2.3 million humans.
In early January, two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo in southern California tested positive for the novel coronavirus and placed in quarantine. They were most likely infected by a sick caretaker who was not showing symptoms.
For its part, Denmark has just completed its huge campaign to slaughter nearly 15 million mink, which was decided to combat the risk of coronavirus mutation in animals.
In early November, Denmark, the world’s largest exporter of small mammal skins, had urgently ordered the slaughter of all mink in the kingdom because of a mutation in the coronavirus which could, according to preliminary studies, threaten the effectiveness of the vaccine for humans.