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Cats can get coronavirus, new study finds

Cats can get coronavirus, new study finds

Cats can get coronavirus, new study finds

What if our pets could transmit the novel coronavirus? After a tiger became infected at a zoo in New York, pet owners are understandably concerned. A recent study by the magazine “Science” has revealed that it is possible for cats and ferrets to be infected by the novel coronavirus, but other pets aren't greatly at risk.

Can pets catch coronavirus?

COVID-19 is believed to have initially been transmitted from bats to humans. Nevertheless, until now, except for a few reported infections in cats and dogs, there has been no strong evidence that pets can be carriers.

However, the recent case of a tiger who tested positive for coronavirus caused a sensation. The tiger, which resides at the Bronx Zoo, had suffered from a dry cough after contact with an infected animal keeper.

A recent study by the magazine "Science" claims that cats and ferrets can both become infected with coronavirus. Dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks, on the other hand, are unlikely to become infected.

World Health Organisation examining the evidence

The World Health Organisation is now taking the report as an opportunity to examine the role of pets in the coronavirus pandemic more closely. 

“We don’t think they [pets] play a role in transmission, but we think they could be infected by an infected person”, said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.

Naina Pottamkulam

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Naina Pottamkulam

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