A birthday party for a cat is reportedly the source of coronavirus outbreak that infected 15 people and left several critically-ill.
All 10 people who were at the celebration contracted the virus and passed it on to a further five family members and friends, local media reports.
The cat's owner is said to have been the 'patient zero' who passed the virus on to attendees at the party in Santo Domingo, in the Chilean region of Valparaiso, it has been claimed.
The outbreak was confirmed by Francisco Alvarez, The Valparaiso Regional Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
He said when he first heard the outbreak began at a cat's birthday party he didn't believe it.
“When I heard it was a cat’s birthday party I thought it was a joke." he said.
“That they were probably trying to hide something, but indeed it was.”
“We have corroborated it with at least six of the 15 [infected] people who told us the same thing.”
He added: “The cat never had the virus. It was the birthday organiser, the owner, she was patient zero."
The date of the feline's party is not known but Mr Alvarez said it was “inconceivable” that such an outbreak would occur after people had been warned to take necessary precautions at gatherings or stay at home.
Mr Alvarez had previously been “at death’s door” after contracting the virus himself, according to a report by Meganoticias.