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It’s official: Humans can pass on the covid-19 virus to cats

Published on:14 May 2020, 15:40pm IST
Not just other people, according to this study covid-19 positive patients can spread the virus to cats too. Read how vulnerable your feline babies are.
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Cats can transfer the covid-19 virus to other cats too. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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If you are a parent to a cat then you need to read this. A recent study states that you should keep your cats away from covid-19 patients as infected people can transmit this virus to them and then they can circulate it among their breed.  

But that’s not the worst part. Cats don’t show any symptoms of this virus, so the chances of a diagnosis in them are really slim. 

The study which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, states that none of the cats in the study showed signs of illness and that the felines were ultimately free of the virus.

No evidence of cat-to-human transfer of covid-19
In April, a study appeared on the website of the journal Science, which revealed that cats can contract this virus but it stayed mute on whether they can transfer it to humans. 

Professor of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Yoshihiro Kawaoka led the recent study, in which researchers administered SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a human patient to three cats.

Cats can catch covid-19
Yes, your cats are vulnerable too. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The following day, the researchers swabbed the nasal passages of the cats and were able to detect the virus in two of the animals. Within three days, they detected the virus in all of the cats. These felines were then placed with other cats each of which shed SARS-CoV-2 from their nasal passages for up to six days.

“That was a major finding for us—the cats did not have symptoms,” says Kawaoka, who also holds a faculty appointment at the University of Tokyo. Kawaoka is also leading an effort to create a human covid-19 vaccine called CoroFlu.

Here are the findings of the study
The study clarifies that the cats got this virus from human intervention. “It’s something for people to keep in mind,” says Peter Halfmann, a research professor at UW-Madison who helped lead the study. 

He added:

If people are quarantined in their house and are worried about passing covid-19 to children and spouses, they should also worry about giving it to their animals.

The bottom line is that for the sake of meow’s health, maintain the distance to save them from this infectious virus. Because the fate of the feline kind rests in your (hopefully) sanitised hands.  

(With inputs from ANI)

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