A worrying strain of COVID called F-CoV-23, responsible for more than 8,000 cat deaths in Cyprus, has now appeared in the UK.
The infected feline was imported into the country from Cyprus, sparking fears for the health of British pets. Although technically not related to COVID-19, F-CoV-23 is a variant known as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a type of coronavirus.
The strain, believed to be a hybrid of existing feline and canine coronaviruses, caused a notable outbreak in Cyprus. Analysis carried out by the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College and the Cypriot government revealed that the infected cat in the UK shares a “genetic fingerprint” with 91% of infected cats in Cyprus.
Cypriot authorities reported over 8,000 cat deaths in the first half of 2023, with estimates suggesting the actual number could exceed 300,000.
The infected British cat, showing symptoms, has been tested and treated. Scientists stress the “significant risk” of further spread of the outbreak, although, ahead of peer review, they acknowledge confirmation of the first imported case in the UK.
Unlike previous feline coronaviruses, F-CoV-23 appears to spread more easily and no longer relies on changes or mutations in the host.
Although there is currently no evidence that this strain can infect dogs or humans, experts advise cat owners not to keep their pets indoors or away from other animals, as there is no obvious threat to humans or animals. dogs.
Ongoing investigations into other cases aim to closely monitor the situation.
a href=”https://www.geo.tv/latest/518655-cat-lovers-cautioned-as-covid-variant-that-killed-8000-cats-in-cyprus-surfaces-in-uk”>Source link