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COVID-19: Study Suggests Cats Can Transmit Virus To Other Cats Without Showing Symptoms

A recent lab experiment reportedly suggested that cats can spread the deadly coronavirus to other cats without any of them ever having symptoms.

COVID-19

A recent lab experiment reportedly suggested that cats can spread the deadly coronavirus to other cats without any of them ever having symptoms. According to an international media outlet, the scientists on May 13 said that the experiment showed the need for more research into whether the virus can spread from people to cats to people again as health experts have been downplaying the possibility. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association reportedly said that just because an animal can be deliberately infected in a lab does not mean it will easily be infected with that same virus under natural conditions. Furthermore, the virus expert Peter Halfmann reportedly said that anyone concerned about that risk should use ‘common sense hygiene’. He suggested against kissing the pets and also said that one should keep the surfaces clean to cut the chances of picking up any virus an animal might shed. 

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The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine reportedly led the lab experiment and published the result on the New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists took the samples of the deadly virus from a human patient and infected three cats with it. Each cat was then housed with another cat that was free of infection. As per the research, within five days, the deadly coronavirus was found in all six of the exposed animals. The researchers also noted that none of the cats ever showed any symptoms. 

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Human-cat-human transmission needs to be investigated 

Halfmann said that there was no sneezing, no coughing and they never even had a high body temperature or lost any weight. He also added that if a pet owner looked at them, they wouldn’t even have noticed anything. The scientists in the research wrote that the lab experiment shows that there is a public health need to recognise and further investigate the potential chain of human-cat-human transmission. 

While there is currently no evidence of the virus spreading from cats to people, last month, two pet cats in New York reportedly tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, becoming the first domesticated animals in the US to have the virus. An earlier study also revealed that pet dogs and cats cannot transmit the disease to human, however, the experiment by the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine has left the researchers worried that the infected animals could pass the virus to many others. 

(Image credit: Unsplash) 

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