CNN – According to scientists, a study from Great Britain shows evidence of a human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in two cases.
The two cats came from different households and had different degrees of disease. Both cats had owners who developed COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, when human testing was less consistent, CNN reported.
The peer-reviewed study, published in the Veterinary Record, analyzed swabs from cats for routine testing for common feline viruses, including feline herpes virus. Through tests, the researchers were able to identify two cats that had the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and when they tested the genomes, they found that it was noticeable in similarity to the virus circulation in humans.
One of the cats with SARS-CoV-2 was a 4 month old Ragdoll kitten with severe respiratory disease. It eventually had to be put to sleep. The second cat was a 6 year old Siamese cat with pink eyes and a stuffy nose. Symptoms remained mild and later recovered.
The study emphasized that there is no evidence of cat-to-human transmission and that dogs, cats and pets are not involved in COVID-19 infections in humans, CNN reported. However, researchers said more studies of pet-to-humans transmission need to be done to confirm that pets cannot transmit the virus between animals or back to humans.
“Currently, animal-to-human transmission poses a relatively low public health risk in areas where human-to-human transmission remains high. However, as human cases decrease, the prospect of animal transmission becomes increasingly important as a potential source for the reintroduction of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, ”said Professor Margaret Hosie of the Center for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow and lead author of the study. said in a press release.
Prior to this study, there were reports of domestic cats in several countries that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after their owners were diagnosed with COVID-19. There have also been cases when the virus appeared naturally in cats and dogs.
Lions and tigers in zoos have also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
The CNN Wire
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