KALPETTA: In the wake of a tiger in a New York zoo testing positive for Covid-19 recently, the death of 13 cats in Mananthavady last week has created panic among villagers of Lakshamveedu Colony, Kaniyaram and Kuzhinilam under Mananthavady Municipality. In Lakshamveedu and Kuzhinilam areas, 10 and three cats were found dead.
However, in the primary investigation, district veterinary epidemiologist confirmed that the cause of death was Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), also commonly referred to as feline distemper, a life-threatening viral disease in the cat population.
“The deaths were reported last Saturday and we have taken samples and they have been sent to the Regional Veterinary Clinical Laboratory, Kannur. This virus disease spreads during the summer season and there is a vaccine to prevent it. But stray cats usually are not vaccinated,” said Dr Dilip Phalgunan, district veterinary epidemiologist.
He further added that there was nothing to be scared of. “The only reported Covid-19 positive case in New York was spread through direct human patient contact. Such a scenario is not present in Wayanad district right now. If some quarantined people have pet cats, in case, we have directed them to avoid contact with the animals,” explained Dr Dilip. The symptoms of FPV are diarrhoea, respiratory problems and weight loss.