Two state agencies are currently investigating whether a cat in Opelika died of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries stated in an announcement that the Thompson Bishop Sparks State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn detected an initial positive test on the cat. The results were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories this week.
However, veterinary pathologists found significant lesions in the cat’s nervous system which usually indicate bacterial infections, suggesting that the virus was not the primary cause of death. An investigation is continuing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that, in nearly all animal deaths associated with the virus, animals had multiple infections or underlying health issues at the same time. Thus far, less than 10 animal deaths in the U.S. are thought to have been associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.