MARQUETTE – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that it has confirmed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, in an Ingham County domestic cat.
While a number of pets around the world have tested positive for the virus, this is the first case in Michigan, MDARD said. The cat was in close contact with its owners who were confirmed to have COVID-19 about a week before the cat fell ill. The cat was tested after it started sneezing and has since recovered.
“Given the other reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 found in pets around the world, this evidence is not unexpected.” said the state veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland in a press release. “The cases in animals generally involved direct contact with an owner or carer who was sick or tested positive for COVID-19.”
As of Monday, there have been 257 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in animals in the United States, including 99 cats, since the pandemic began, MDARD reported. There is no evidence that animals play a significant role in transmitting the virus to humans and that the likelihood is very small.
“COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through droplets of breath when coughing, sneezing and speaking. said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in a press release. “Protecting pets starts with taking precautions to protect yourself by receiving one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.”
An additional step in protecting pets from the virus that causes COVID-19 involves people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 avoiding direct contact with animals – including kissing, cuddling, sleeping in a sick person’s bed, and the Sharing food with a sick person, MDARD said. If possible, have another member of the household not ill take care of the pets.
When people with COVID-19 need to care for a pet, they should wear a mask and wash their hands before and after interacting with them.
Signs of SARS-CoV-2 in animals can include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, vomiting and / or diarrhea. Individuals who believe their pets may have contracted the virus or have concerns about their pets’ health are urged to contact their veterinarian, MDARD said.
Testing is recommended in certain circumstances, including on animals recently exposed to a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. A veterinarian must obtain approval to test animals for SARS-CoV-2 from MDARD by calling 800-292-3939.
Flu vaccination recommended
MDHHS urges Michigander to get their flu vaccine ASAP to keep themselves and their communities safe from the flu, especially during the fight against COVID-19.
Getting a flu shot is crucial this season as flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 are likely to spread at the same time, MDHHS said. Residents can get the COVID-19 vaccination at the same time as the flu vaccination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at higher risk of developing flu are also at higher risk of developing COVID-19.
“I encourage every Michigander to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible to protect himself and his loved ones.” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Last year 3.5 million Michigandans received the flu shot, and this year I know we can achieve the MDHHS national goal by increasing that number to 4 million. Over the past 18 months we’ve all seen the importance of vaccines in keeping people safe from disease, and I’d like to thank every Michigan resident who got their COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot. “
Whitmer noted that she was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and received her flu shot last week.
The flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its possible serious complications, MDHHS said. Influenza vaccinations significantly reduce influenza vaccination in the United States each year, preventing millions of illnesses and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths.
MDHHS said about 3.5 million people in Michigan received a flu vaccine last flu season, according to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. The state of Michigan has set a goal to vaccinate a total of 4 million Michigan residents for the 2021/22 flu season.
Public health professionals suggest that community-based measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, such as masking and social distancing and flu vaccination, may have contributed to the below-average number of influenza cases last season, MDHHS said.
However, it indicated that during a typical flu season like the 2019-20 flu season, the country had 39 to 56 million estimated flu cases, 18 to 26 million doctor visits for the flu, and nearly half a million flu hospital admissions. Despite its comparison to the common cold, the flu is a serious and potentially fatal illness, especially for children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses.
Influenza vaccines are available now at local health departments, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies across the state.
Individuals can use the Vaccine Finder at www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/ to find a location nearby. Visit Michigan.gov/flu or IVaccinate.org for more information.
Reports of groundbreaking cases of COVID-19 often make national headlines, said Aspirus Health, based in Wausau, Wisconsin, a recent example is the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell from COVID-19 complications.
These reports come at the same time as the FDA is announcing its recommendations for COVID-19 boosters. Aspirus acknowledged that all of this information adds to the confusion about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and the need for booster vaccinations.
“The intent of the booster shot is to rev up that immunity and get it to reach its full potential.” said Dr. Michael Walters, Aspirus Senior Systems Physician, Executive of Specialty Care, in a press release. “Think of it as a series like you would see with many other vaccinations you would have had as a child or even as an adult, such as your tetanus vaccinations.”
COVID-19 hospitalizations across the Aspirus healthcare system largely affect people who are not fully vaccinated, but breakthrough infections also occur. As of Tuesday, 27% of COVID-positive patients in the Aspirus system were fully vaccinated.
“It reinforces this notion that if you move away from your first series of vaccinations, your immunity will degrade over time, and therefore really underscores the need for a booster.” said Walter.
However, Walters said that is how people’s bodies and vaccines work.
“The vaccinations are not supposed to prevent you from getting the disease, but to prevent serious infections, hospitalizations and deaths.” he said.
New data from the Wisconsin Department of Health shows significantly higher infection, hospitalization, and death rates among people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These rates were five times higher for infections, nine times higher for hospitalizations and 19 times higher for deaths in September.
Anyone can visit aspirus.org/vaccine for more information on the difference between a third COVID-19 injection and a booster, as well as information on who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster.
Those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster can make an appointment through the MyAspiraus app or MyAspiras.org. Only Pfizer BioNTech boosters are currently available. Scheduling options will be added for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as soon as they are authorized by the CDC and DHS.
Michigan fishing guides reported a 22% loss in revenue from the 2019 through 2020 fishing season, Michigan Sea Grant said.
In July, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension interviewed fishing guides in the state to learn about threats to their industry and possible solutions. The questions are designed to address the impact of the pandemic on the fishing business and to gather guides’ views on fishing pressures, steelhead limits, and legislative proposals.
According to Michigan Sea Grant, the guides in 2020 addressed safety concerns and a changing regulatory landscape, including a multi-week ban on all motorized boats during the spring steelhead season and vague guidance on mask and social distancing requirements for outdoors that stopped by Midsummer.
In the survey, the guides rated pandemic-related threats and other issues the industry is facing. Safety concerns related to the pandemic were rated lowest on the threat scale, while concerns about pandemic restrictions were rated slightly higher.
The guides indicated that the biggest ongoing concern about the direct impact of the pandemic was its impact on steelhead stocking. Steelheads were not artificially spawned in 2020, which resulted in the 2021 year class for stocked steelheads being missing.
Increased fishing pressures have been identified as the biggest threat to fishing guides overall, they said. Increased pressure may be an indirect impact of the pandemic, along with increased steelhead crops and overharvesting of other species due to increased interest in outdoor recreational activities, Michigan Sea Grant said.
However, other factors are likely to play a role, with the guides pointing out the existence of illegal guides, enforcement issues, and issues with certain access pages and restrictions on certain types of use.
The survey results could serve as a starting point for a wider discussion of potential solutions to problems related to limited stream data reporting, appropriate regulations for the industry, and the management of key species like steelhead, Michigan Sea Grant said.
Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500 extension. 250. Your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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