A veterinary clinic in the Eastern Province has registered the death of three cats suffering from MERS-coronavirus over a period of four months.
Director of the clinic Dr. Khaled Al-Saffaf said the cats died due to their inability to resist the virus.
He said the symptoms include loss of appetite and a rise in body temperature to 40 degrees Celsius.
Other symptoms include an increase of fluids in the cat’s body, causing its stomach to swell noticeably and hindering its ability to walk.
The animal also suffers from liver and kidney fibrosis, causing it to die within three days.
Al-Saffaf added that despite attempts to combat the virus by giving the cats antibiotics and injections, their bodies are too weak to resist.
Al-Saffaf said veterinary clinics in the Eastern Province apart from Aramco Hospital do not have the X-ray equipment to detect the virus.
He advised people who keep cats as pets to take all safety measures and avoid too much direct contact with the animals so they do not contract the disease, Alsharq Arabic daily reported.First, we have no evidence that the cats died of MERS-CoV, or some other coronavirus, or some other agent altogether. I don't know how X-ray equipment would help identify MERS. Antibiotics and "injections" wouldn't do much good against a viral infection, though antibiotics might help suppress opportunistic bacterial infections.
And of course we have no evidence that cats either carry MERS or transmit MERS to humans. So this report qualifies as a straight health scare.