CoronaVirus In Pets – We love our pets. They make us smile during our most difficult days. They are also sources of unconditional love and worship. Our animals are part of the family. So that means they get birthday parties, portrait sessions, delicious treats – and only the best care we can provide.
It is natural for pet owners to worry at this time about the possibility of furry, scaly or even slimy family members getting the coronavirus (COVID-19). And all the stories on social media are probably not helpful. Due to a lot of misinformation, some pet owners may think that they should throw their pets away to prevent the virus from spreading.
With the help of family medicine specialist Neha Vyas, MD, let’s get to the bottom of the question: “Can animals catch COVID-19?”
Can our pets be infected with SARS-CoV-2? Could they transmit the virus to other animals or to their human companions? And can humans pass it on to animals? This special feature aims to answer these questions and many more.
Can SARS-CoV-2 affect pets, and if so, what can we do to keep them and our pets safe? We are investigating.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, much if not most research has focused on the impact of virus on humans.
But what about our most trusted companions – the pets that share our homes and our lives?
According to some statistical reports, as many as 63.4 million households in the United States include a dog and 42.7 million households include a cat, making these furry friends the two most popular non-human family members in the world. world. world. country.
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Previous research has shown that, for most pet owners, their companions really count as family members.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled fears for human and animal health, as it is unclear how – and even if – the virus that causes it affects pets such as cats and dogs. There is a chance that there is CoronaVirus In Pets.
Cats can be infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and pass it on to other cats. But dogs aren’t really susceptible to the infection, according to Chinese researchers. The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute team also concludes that chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to contract the virus.
Other scientists say the results are interesting, but cat owners shouldn’t be worried yet. The results are based on laboratory experiments in which a small number of animals have deliberately received large doses of the virus, SARS-CoV-2. And do not represent actual interactions between people and their pets, explains virologist Linda Saif of Ohio State University. There is no direct evidence that infected cats secreted enough coronavirus to transmit it to people, she said.
The authors of the latest prepublication also found that ferrets are very susceptible to infection with the COVID-19 coronavirus, which they believe makes animals an appropriate model for testing vaccines and potential drugs. Ferrets are already used as models in influenza studies and several laboratories have started to search for COVID-19 on them.
Caring for pets during the pandemic
There are few guidelines for pet care during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the owners are worried, especially the dogs, who have to spend time outside regularly, and the cats, who are free to roam the neighborhood.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise people to treat their animal companions in the same way as they “would treat [other] members of the human family”, ideally preventing them from “interacting with humans.” humans “. people “. or animals”. outside the household. “
“If someone inside the household becomes ill, isolate them from everyone, including pets,” said the CDC.
Other advice from the CDC includes a suggestion to keep cats indoors as much as possible and to keep dogs on a leash while walking. Maintaining the same recommended physical distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) for any other person or animal.
CDC guidelines also suggest “[avoid] dog parks or public places where large numbers of people and dogs congregate”.