APHA issue guidance on Coronavirus and ferrets

Ferret climbing inside a cage.

In response to concerns raised about coronavirus infecting farmed mink, first reported in the Netherlands, The Animal Plant & Health Agency (APHA) have issued guidance to individuals owning (or working with ferrets), a species closely related to mink. Ferrets are susceptible to COVID-19 virus infection from their
human contacts and potentially they may be able to pass it on to uninfected people. Akin to humans not all ferrets infected with Covid show symptoms, in those that do symptoms are usually mild and may include a fever, loss of appetite, respiratory and gastrointestinal signs. Owners are urged to seek veterinary attention if their ferret falls ill, please ensure you advise your vet if you know your ferret is coming from a Covid positive household. Owners of ferrets are advised that if they have Covid symptoms to minimise contact with their pet to reduce the risk of disease transmission. It is thought ferrets may carry Covid for longer than humans so if anyone in your household/in-contact with your ferret, or the ferret themselves, tests positive for Coronavirus (or has symptoms) the ferret should be isolated for at least 3 weeks. To view the full APHA document visit the gov.uk webpage.

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