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The Covid-19 pandemic in Francecase
Every year, feline infectious peritonitis kills thousands of cats in France. Their only hope for a cure lies in a counterfeit molecule in China that French suppliers and owners are illegally snapping up. Investigation into a global black market.
Kobe is a 2 year old gray British Shorthair. Rolled into a ball on the mat, he patiently waits for Stephanie (1) to give him his daily injection. Every evening at 8:30 p.m. sharp, she administers a treatment using a needle that she inserts into the fat in his back. The young woman is neither a veterinarian nor the owner of Kobé. For the past three years, she has welcomed and cared for cats sick with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). And practices veterinary medicine illegally in his living room.
FIP is a disease caused by a feline coronavirus, Fcov, naturally present in the digestive tract of cats. Those who live alone eliminate it quickly, but those who live in a community – on farms or in shelters – can exchange this highly mutating virus. Most of the time, it only causes a simple intestinal infection, but thanks to exchanges between cats, the virus can mutate and develop infectious peritonitis. The virus attacks the white blood cells of its host and spreads to the heart of its immune system. In addition to being fatal, this disease is very difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary between cats and between types of FIP.
There are two kinds: dry and wet FIP. The most common symptoms, those of dry FIP, are loss of appetite, weight loss and sometimes fever. The disease usually affects the stomach or the lungs, which fill with ascites, a yellow fluid…