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Covid-19 in Pets


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A few days ago the infection of Tigers and othe big cats at the Bronx Zoo was in the news, Today it was announced by the CDC that two cats in New York tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Research in China investigate Covid-19 in cats, ferrets, dogs and other animals. They found that cats and ferrets were easily infected and spread the virus. Dogs not so much. There are an estimated 95 million pet cats, 70 million feral cats, 89 million pet dogs and 100 million coyotes in the US. This about doubles the number of susceptible individuals that could be infected by the covid-19 virus.

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1 hour ago, Ray,IN said:

The announcement also said "no evidence of animal to human transfer yet".

Yet is the operable word. In the study that was conducted in China (same folks that said there was no human to human transmission). cats in separate cages were infected indicating that the cats were shedding virus. I seem to recall one article that said all the cats in the Chinese study were asymptomatic. I doubt that the lions and tigers at the Bronx zoo were in the same cage with direct contact. In the cat cases in the US and other countries, the cats likely got the virus from their owners. Thus the people that the cats were in contact with had already been infected or exposed to the virus. I doubt there will be many human volunteers to be exposed to infected cats to prove or disprove transmissibility. A study of the virus in cats would be needed to show that the virus changed once in the cat so that it could no longer infect humans which is where it came from to the cat in the first place. Pay you money and take your chances.

Edited by trailertraveler
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54 minutes ago, Twotoes said:

Didn't the virus originate in bats or rats and pass to humans? So why can't other animals get infected?

Yes the virus is thought to be naturally occurring in bats. There have been statements in the news that scaly ant eaters can carry Covid-19. The study described in the article linked to in the original post found that cats, ferrets and dogs could be infected with Covid-19. Eight big cats at the Bronx zoo have been found to have Covid-19.

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23 hours ago, Twotoes said:

OK so now we have social distancing for cats! Didn't the virus originate in bats or rats and pass to humans? So why can't other animals get infected?

Saw a news report a few weeks ago.  Doc stated virtually any mammal can catch a virus from other mammals.  The symptom severity varies between species.

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