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23 July, 2024
 
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Feline Covid strain, linked to 8,000 cat deaths in Cyprus, surfaces in the UK

Concerns rise as UK reports first case, genetic similarity to Cyprus outbreak sparks fears for British feline health

Source: GB News

A deadly strain of Covid, believed to be responsible for over 8,000 cat deaths in Cyprus has spread to the UK, scientists have said.

Fears over the health of British pets have surged after a cat brought into the UK from the Mediterranean island was found to be infected.

The strain, called F-CoV-23 is technically not linked to Covid-19 but is a strain of coronavirus - more specifically feline infection peritonitis (FIP).

According to scientists, the strain, that caused an outbreak in Cyprus, is newly emerged and is a hybrid of an existing feline coronavirus and a canine coronavirus.

Analysis conducted by the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College and the Cypriot government found the infected feline in Britain had the same “genetic fingerprint” as 91 percent of infected cats in Cyprus.

According to Cypriot authorities, at least 8,000 cats in the first half of 2023 have been killed by the virus but the true number could be over 300,000 according to reports.

The infected British cat is understood to have developed symptoms in the UK and has been sent for tests and treatment.

Earlier this year, authorities attempted to use human Covid treatments on the cats in a bid to curb the outbreak.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Britain  |  UK  |  coronavirus  |  covid  |  animals  |  cats

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