Research shows that there is a hidden Covid-19 epidemic in household pets

Research shows that there is a hidden Covid-19 epidemic in household pets. Illustration of articles

photo: Vadim Gilda (Associated Press)

Hugging your pet during a pandemic may be more risky than assumed-that is, for pets. New research this week shows that humans often spread covid-19 infection to their four-legged friends, although pets do not seem to spread it further to other people in the home. Although most infections from coronaviruses tend to be mild or asymptomatic, these findings may require more caution for pet owners who have contracted viral diseases.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been reports that animals have been infected with the covid-19 virus. puppy, Cats (big and small), And members of the weasel family, such as mink and Otter, Are known to have been infected, usually through contact with humans. But with the exception of mink, almost all of these cases are considered to be milder than the typical diseases that humans may suffer from, and are unlikely to be a source of further transmission.

Many studies on animal infections with covid-19 are limited to laboratory experiments or isolated incidents. This new preliminary study, Present At the European Congress of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases this week, it seemed to be one of the first to try to quantify the frequency of these cases.

Dutch veterinary researchers, led by Els Broens of Utrecht University, expropriated a mobile clinic and visited about 200 families, at least one of whom was infected with the virus at some point. They then tested whether their dogs and cats were infected with the coronavirus, as well as antibodies that indicated past exposure. A total of 156 dogs and 154 cats were tested.

At that time, 4.2% of the animals were shown to have active infections, while 17% of the animals had antibodies. But these pets do not seem to have any symptoms when they are infected. The researchers also found that there is little evidence that these infections have spread from pets to other members of the home, including other pets, indicating that humans are almost certainly the only source of these small outbreaks.

Many scientists believe that the earliest strains of coronavirus may have been transmitted from animals to humans, while mink has by Bacteria against humans during an outbreak in a mink farm. But so far, there have been no confirmed cases of covid-19 transmission from pets to humans.

“About one in five pets will get this disease from their owner,” Browns tell Reuters. “Fortunately, the animals did not get sick.”

Ideally, research from other countries will be conducted to confirm the team’s findings. But although the risk of these animals may be low, Bruns and her colleagues do believe that pet owners who suspect they are infected with Covid 19 should treat their pets like everyone else. Unfortunately, this caution also applies to bedtime.

She told Reuters: “Many pet owners have very close contact, as if they were sleeping in a bed with their pets, so you can imagine close contact so that transmission can happen.”


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