United Kingdom
Information received on 27/07/2020 from Dr Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer, DEFRA, Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs , London, United Kingdom
Report type Immediate notification (Final report)
Date of start of the event 15/05/2020
Date of confirmation of the event 20/07/2020
Report date 27/07/2020
Date submitted to OIE 27/07/2020
Date event resolved 24/07/2020
Reason for notification Emerging disease
Morbidity 2 (scale 0 to 5)
Mortality 0 (scale 0 to 5)
Zoonotic impact Zoonotic potential currently unknown.
Causal agent SARS-COV-2
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 (SARS-COV-2 2020/001) South England, England
Date of start of the outbreak 15/05/2020
Outbreak status Resolved (24/07/2020)
Epidemiological unit Not applicable
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cats 2 1 0 0 0
Affected population One domestic cat
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cats 2 1 0 0 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Cats 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Suspected human to animal transmission
Epidemiological comments A domestic cat from a COVID positive household was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. The cat was showing respiratory signs indicative of Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) and a swab was taken for confirmation in May. FHV test was positive and the SARS-CoV-2 test was undertaken as part of a surveillance project in a private laboratory. On receipt of the result, the private veterinary notified Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and repeated testing of the original sample, a new oral swab and a new blood sample (both taken in July) were tested. The original sample was retested positive, a new oral swab was negative, and the blood sample was positive to the virus neutralisation test. A second cat in the household was tested negative by PCR and virus neutralisation. The positive cat completely recovered, and as PCR was negative on retest, and antibody positive, the case is considered resolved. Nota bene: The outbreak location used is that of the National Laboratory at Weybridge, to protect any data relating to human cases.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
Weybridge Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 10/07/2020 Positive
Weybridge National Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 10/07/2020 Negative
Weybridge National Laboratory (National laboratory) Cats virus neutralisation test (VNT) 20/07/2020 Positive
Non-Official Laboratory (Private Laboratory) Cats polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 25/06/2020 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is resolved. No more reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations