Laboratory staff in Belgium have confirmed a case of COVID-19 transmission from human to animal, after a man who contracted the disease infected his pet cat, an official said.
Emmanuel Andre, a representative of the country’s coronavirus reference laboratory based in the city of Leuven, confirmed this on Friday.
“Our colleagues from the veterinary faculty in Liege found that a cat contracted COVID-19 after the infection was transmitted by its owner. The infection has been confirmed and symptoms are present,” Andre said at a news conference.
According to Andre, this was an individual case and may not be a common occurrence.
He said Belgian officials were working to develop preventive measures for pet owners, particularly those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Belgian public health officials on Friday confirmed that 1,049 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the preceding 24 hours, raising the overall number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak to 7,284.
A total of 289 people in Belgium have died after contacting the disease.