WARNING! Study Shows That Cats Are More Vulnerable To Being Infected With The SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 Disease
: A new study published in the journal Science
reported that tests of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on domesticated cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks and ferrets found that both cats and ferrets are highly susceptible to the virus. Cats can become infected through airborne transmission. It was observed however that dogs have a very low susceptibility to the virus. Susceptibility means that a virus is able to enter a cell. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/07/science.abb7015
Experts in veterinary medicine stressed that the study included very small numbers of cats and dogs, which were injected with much higher levels of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus than they would likely encounter in the natural world. They also said it is highly unlikely that a person would become infected from a pet.
Dr David O'Connor, a Professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison told Thailand Medical News, "I don't think that for most people cat-to-human transmission is the most likely way that they would be infected, but I'd be very surprised if this was impossible."
Jeanette O'Quin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University commented, "This is a human disease. It's being transferred from person to person. That is our greatest risk."
The new study however follows numerous occurrences of reports of animals becoming infected with the new coronavirus. Less than a week ago the Bronx Zoo announced that a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, named Nadia, tested positive for COVID-19.
A previous Chinese study reported that after the outbreak began in Wuhan, 14% of cats in the area were found to have antibodies for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.01.021196v1
However a few medical experts commented, "There's a lot of stress in the world and the human-animal bond is so important. We should be enjoying our pets, rather than being fearful of them."
They recommended steps people can take to reduce the small risk of the virus passing between people and their pets. People who have COVID-19 should probably keep the pet in another part of the house and have another person in the household care for it. If there is no one else to care for the pet, the infected person should wear a mask when caring for the pet and wash their hands before and after feeding the animal. She also advised people not to allow a pet to lick them in the mouth.
Dr O'Quin added, “Although the risk of the virus passing between pets and people is really low, we should take precautions."
When pet owners are quarantining themselves, they should also quarantine their cats inside.
Dr O'Quin further added, "If you're not sick, you can interact with them pretty much the way you would always."
However if your cat is being socially distan
t these days, maybe he's just trying to protect both of you.
For the latest on COVID-19 research
, keep logging on to Thailand Medical News
KINDLY HAVE HEART AND HELP! Please help support our site and our initiatives to propel and aid research by making a donation to help sustain the site. Donations are accepted via paypal