Well being officers in Belgium say a pet cat seems to have contracted COVID-19 from her proprietor, although they emphasised human-to-pet transmission appears to be extraordinarily uncommon.

“Just lately, the veterinary medication school in Liège reported {that a} coronavirus an infection has been decided in a cat,” virologist Steven Van Gucht mentioned at a Federal Public Service Well being press convention on Friday, The Brussels Times reported. “The cat lived along with her proprietor, who began exhibiting signs of the virus every week earlier than the cat did.”

The cat had diarrhea and respiration bother, and researchers subsequently discovered the novel coronavirus in her feces. As of Saturday, each cat and proprietor were reportedly doing well.

“We need to stress that that is an remoted case,” Van Gucht mentioned. “Moreover, on this case, we’re speaking a couple of human-to-animal transmission, not the opposite method round. There aren’t any indications that that is widespread. The chance of animal-to-human transmission could be very small.”

These sentiments had been echoed by Jane Sykes, chief veterinary medical officer on the College of California, Davis. Cats and canine, she mentioned, could also be “dead-end” hosts for the virus, that means they may turn into contaminated however don’t shed sufficient of the virus to transmit it to people different animals.

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Up to now, there aren’t any recognized circumstances of pets transmitting the virus to individuals, however there’s not sufficient knowledge to inform for positive if that’s potential. However usually, “you’re extra more likely to get contaminated from one other particular person,” Sykes instructed HuffPost.

Beforehand, two dogs in Hong Kong examined optimistic for the virus and had been asymptomatic. Not less than a type of canine examined “weakly optimistic,” main some consultants to imagine the canine may very well be merely carrying traces of the virus in its nostril or fur, slightly than being really contaminated. However Sykes mentioned the degrees of virus discovered within the cat, plus the cat’s signs, recommend true an infection, however famous that additional exams ― like checking to see whether or not the cat has developed antibodies for the virus ― are wanted.

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“It’s not likely very shocking to listen to of an contaminated cat,” she mentioned, explaining that cats and ferrets were able to contract the same virus that brought about the SARS outbreak within the early 2000s. However there was no proof of cats transmitting that virus to people. (She additionally famous that ferrets turned a lot sicker from the virus than cats did.)

That mentioned, the case of the Belgian cat means pet house owners and veterinarians must be looking out for any potential signs in line with COVID-19 in cats, canine and different mammals (particularly ferrets), Sykes mentioned. And pet house owners who’ve the sickness ought to take precautions to attenuate any dangers.

Each the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association advocate having one other particular person in your family care in your pets in case you are sick with COVID-19, if potential. If that’s not potential, wash your palms earlier than and after interacting with pets; usually wash their bowls, bedding and toys; and put on a face masks for those who can.

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If a pet has come into contact with an contaminated particular person and also you’re frightened about publicity from the virus surviving on the animal’s fur, some experts suggest bathing pets with species-appropriate shampoo or wiping them down with soapy fabric and water.

Sykes additionally careworn the significance of the “human-animal bond” and famous that nobody ought to abandon or euthanize their pets out of fears over COVID-19. And he or she continues to see it as a great factor that so many individuals are spending their further time at dwelling with animal companions.

“That will nonetheless be strongly inspired,” she mentioned.

A HuffPost Information To Coronavirus

The publish A Cat In Belgium Tested Positive For COVID-19, But You Shouldn’t Panic appeared first on Huffington Post.


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