Feline coronavirus outbreak in Cyprus
Veterinarians have started administering molnupiravir, an anti-Covid drug known as Lagevrio, to cats in Cyprus to address an outbreak of feline coronavirus (FCoV-23) that began in January 2023.

The outbreak has caused serious harm to the island's cats, and some strains of the virus could lead to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), usually fatal condition. You can find more information about this disease for example on this site.

This virus is distinct from the human Covid-19 virus but cannot infect humans. The drug was originally intended for treating Covid-19 in humans, but was repurposed to combat FCoV-23. Molnupiravir seems promising in aiding cats' recovery from FIP. The government plans to distribute around 80,000 pills of the drug to veterinarians to treat affected cats. The drug will cost about $2.74 per pill for cat owners after a proper diagnosis. The exact number of cat deaths from the outbreak remains uncertain till to this date due to Cyprus's sizable feral cat population.

There are also concerns about the mutated coronavirus strain spreading to other regions with large feral cat populations and causing serious outbreaks there. It is important to note, that the use of the human drug stockpile for this purpose is assured not to affect the island's response to potential future Covid-19 surges.


Newsletter subscription