FactCheck_ what number of cats have died of feline coronavirus in Cyprus and are there UK cases_

Animal charities say that hundreds of cats in Cyprus might have died after contracting a feline coronavirus that may trigger “feline infectious peritonitis”, or FIP.

So what are the signs of cat coronavirus and has the outbreak unfold to the UK?

FactCheck takes a glance.

What’s cat coronavirus, feline infectious peritonitis?

Feline coronavirus is a quite common virus and the vast majority of cats contaminated with it would undergo solely from gentle gastrointestinal illness. Nevertheless, in some instances it will possibly turn into FIP, which may be deadly.

That is totally different from the coronavirus that infects folks and results in Covid-19. Feline coronavirus impacts cats and isn’t contagious to people.

What number of instances have there been in Cyprus and are there any within the UK?

Simply 107 instances of FIP have been formally recorded by the agriculture ministry within the southern a part of the island.

However animal charities have prompt the true quantity could possibly be lots larger because of the nation’s big stray cat inhabitants.

Head of Cat Safety and Welfare Society (PAWS) Cyprus, Dinos Ayiomamitis, informed Agence France Presse: “We have now misplaced 300,000 cats since January from FIP.”

Although he later informed the Cyprus Broadcasting Company that the determine was a tough calculation based mostly on an estimate of a 20-30 per cent mortality price among the many island’s roughly 1 million cats.

Martha Canon, feline specialist and co-owner of Oxford Cat Clinic, informed Occasions Radio that in Cyprus “maybe the virus has developed a brand new variant which is way more transmissible and way more ceaselessly inflicting this lethal situation”.

However she famous that “we don’t have any proof that this extra lethal variant has bought to the UK”, though there’s a “frequent switch” of cats from Cyprus to the UK “so we’re completely recommending that no cat ought to go away Cyprus with out being examined for coronavirus”.

What are the signs of feline coronavirus?

The primary indicators of FIP are imprecise and signs may be widespread to different situations. They embody fever, weight reduction, decreased urge for food and lethargy.

If the cat’s immune system can’t clear the virus at this stage, the situation will progress to one of many two important types of the illness – ‘moist’ and ‘dry’ FIP – though some cats might develop each on the identical time.

Signs of moist FIP embody a swollen tummy because of the illness fluid increase within the stomach. This may additionally occur within the chest cavity inflicting respiratory issues.

Signs of dry FIP embody weight reduction, vomiting, lethargy, and irritation that may have an effect on numerous organs equivalent to eyes, kidneys, lungs or pores and skin.

In each instances, as soon as the signs seem they may progress quickly in a matter of days or perhaps weeks.

Dr Alison Richards, head of medical companies at Cats Safety, stated: “In case you are involved about your cat we’d at all times advocate taking them to the vet for an examination.

“Widespread signs to look out for are lethargy, fever and your cat going off its meals, although the signs can fluctuate between cats.”

However Roisin Bolger, veterinary analysis and requirements lead at charity Blue Cross, informed FactCheck that “many different ailments present related indicators, so when you discover any of those in your cat, it’s suggested to see your vet”.

She added: “FIP just isn’t straightforward to diagnose, your vet might must take blood checks or carry out ultrasound scans and take fluid samples out of your cat.”

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