Four cases of animals with possible symptoms of Covid-19 have put pet owners on alert. Know if your dog or cat could get coronavirus
Taking the dog out is one of the few exits that can be made in the alarm state. Until now, it had been said that animals do not get sick from Covid-19. But in recent times this claim has been questioned. The apparent contagion of two dogs in Hong Kong, a cat in Belgium and a tigress in a US zoo have set off all alarms about a possible spread of the coronavirus among the animal kingdom. Can a human being spread the coronavirus to his pet?
Let no one worry . Experts and health authorities agree that the commented cases are four isolated cases of animals with possible symptoms of Covid-19 are “exceptional” and that, for now, there is no scientific proof that they can transmit it to humans or other animals. Although both the three apparently infected pets and the tigress had been in direct contact with people who have suffered from the coronavirus disease, there is also no scientific evidence that animal fauna is vulnerable to it.
Throughout a lengthy document, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has made it clear that ” the current spread of Covid-19 is due to human-to-human transmission.” “There is no justification for taking measures related to companion animals that could affect their welfare,” adds the institution. In other words, there is no proof that pets spread the virus to people .
It could happen, “occasionally” and anecdotally, the other way around , as the Ministry of Health maintains in a technical note. Although you have to be very cautious because it is a virus that we still know very little about. We have many open hypotheses but little evidence. In any case, what is clear is that the virus has found the panacea in humans and is spreading to perpetuate itself.
Research on pets and Covid-19
Beyond these three pets with respiratory and digestive symptoms linked to Covid-19, a team of Chinese researchers has carried out experimental studies in a laboratory to verify the possible progression of the disease in a series of animals, which previously has inoculated high viral loads through its nostrils. The results conclude that in cats and ferrets , Covid-19 replicates in their respiratory tract, despite the fact that none had symptoms. The dogs , however, have low susceptibility, and pigs,
chickens or ducks are not susceptible to the virus.
The OCV insists that, since it is an investigation, the natural conditions of transmission and infection are not recreated. This is an experiment that cannot be transferred to everyday reality. Furthermore, new research will have to be carried out to confirm or discard the results
The Association of Veterinary Medicine in the USA is also skeptical, which emphasizes that what happens in a laboratory does not have to be replicated outside of it. Even so, experts appeal to caution, since SARS-CoV-2, like all viruses, is continually evolving and much is unknown about its operation.