In Cyprus, not only humans but also cats must now receive a coronavirus medicine. The reason is an outbreak of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a cat disease caused by a coronavirus.
Government spokesperson Konstantinos Letibiotis announced on Thursday that now, in Cyprus, cats will also receive a coronavirus medicine. The medications, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir, are sourced from stocks that were originally purchased for the treatment of human coronavirus cases but are no longer needed. These antiviral drugs, in the form of anti-COVID pills, will be distributed by veterinarians.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is caused by the feline coronavirus (FCoV) and is prevalent in cats worldwide. Without treatment, cats diagnosed with FIP typically have only a few weeks to a few months to live. Fortunately, the virus is not dangerous to humans. The island has been experiencing an FIP epidemic for months, although the exact number of infected animals remains unclear. According to animal organizations, approximately 30 percent of all stray cats in Cyprus have already succumbed to the disease.
It’s important to note that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a distinct virus from the feline coronavirus (FCoV) that causes FIP in cats. There is no evidence to suggest that cats can transmit COVID-19 to humans or vice versa. The transmission of COVID-19 primarily occurs between humans through respiratory droplets. However, some cases of COVID-19 in cats and other pets have been reported, indicating that they can contract the virus from infected humans. Therefore, it’s essential for pet owners to take precautionary measures if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, such as minimizing close contact with their pets and having someone else care for them during the illness. Regularly consulting with veterinarians and following their guidance can help ensure the health and well-being of both pets and their human companions during the pandemic.