According to a new study cats can become infected with the novel coronavirus, but dogs, apparently, are not vulnerable. This prompted the who to examine more closely the question of the transfer of the virus between people and Pets. About it writes Reuters.
The study, published on the website of the journal Science, showed that ferrets can also be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the scientific term for the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
Dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks are unlikely to get a virus, however, need more research.
The purpose of this study was to determine which animals are vulnerable to the virus, so you can use them to test an experimental vaccine to fight the pandemic COVID-19, which killed more than 90,000 people worldwide since its appearance in China in December 2019.
It is believed that SARS-CoV-2 spreads from bats to humans. Except for a few reported infections in cats and dogs, there was convincing evidence that Pets can be carriers.
Tiger at the Bronx zoo in new York, who started a dry cough and loss of appetite after contact with an infected person, showed a positive test result for coronavirus on Sunday 5 April.
The study, based on analyses conducted in China in January and February, showed that cats and ferrets are very susceptible when researchers tried to infect animals by introducing viral particles through the nose.
They also found that cats can infect each other through respiratory droplets. In infected cats was a virus in the mouth, the nose and the small intestine. Kittens exposed to the virus, had massive lesions in the lung, nose and throat.
“Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in cats should be considered as addition to eliminating COVID-19 in humans,” write the authors.
From ferrets the virus was detected in the upper respiratory tract, but did not cause serious diseases.
Antibody tests have shown that dogs are less likely to contract the virus in the inoculated pigs, chickens and ducks were not found any strain of the virus.
“It’s interesting and not very surprising in the sense that the initial SARS epidemic, the cats have been implicated as one of the vectors that could transmit the virus to people,” said Daniel Kuritzkes, head of the division of infectious diseases Boston hospital.
“These data support the recommendation that people infected COVID-19, needs to distance himself not only from other family members, but also from Pets, to not transmit the virus to their Pets, especially cats or other felines”, — he said.
The world health organization has said it is working with its partners to more closely examine the role of Pets in health crisis.
Based on the available facts, an epidemiologist who Maria van Kerkhove said at a press conference: “We do not believe that animals play a role in the transmission of the virus, but we think that they can get infected from an infected person”.
Chief expert of the who for emergency situations Mike Ryan asked people not to retaliate against animals in the outbreak.
“They deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. They are as much victims as we all do,” he said.