Feline Rescue

Kitten Development & Care

What is Feline Enteric Coronavirus?

What is Feline Enteric Coronavirus?

Feline enteric coronavirus is the
ubiquitous parent form of FIPs and viruses, and so enteric coronaviruses
exists all over the world and they exist in any place where there’s a large
number of cats that are congregated together, that share litter pans, or
have people exposure, or fecal exposure to each other. So, virtually
every cattery, every shelter, every kitten foster rescue, every dense feral cat
population has in it enzootic or endemic feline coronavirus infection. And
most kittens are exposed naturally when they’re around 9 weeks of age through
exposure to virus being shed by up to 40 to 60% of the normal healthy cats in the
environment. And so, what happens is that during that initial infection with
enteric coronavirus, some of that virus can mutate into a new form, and instead
of that virus infecting the intestinal tract, that mutant virus then will
go into the lymph nodes, and abdomen, and that, and infect what we call
macrophages, and then create an entirely different type of disease. Although the mutations are very slight, there are only 3 spots in the
viral genome that are mutated, the mutations are very slight, but the
repercussions in terms of disease are huge.

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