Science Times - Pet Owners Can Easily Transfer COVID-19 Infection to Their Cats, Dogs [Study]
(Photo : Lenka Novotná on Pixabay) An expert said, if one has COVID-19, he should avoid contact with his dog or cat pet, just as he would with other people.

Cases of pet owners transmitting COVID-19 infection to their dog or cat have been documented previously, although considered an insignificant risk to public health.

However, according to a SciTechDaily report, like vaccination and other measures lessen the human-to-human spread of the virus, it is turning out to be authoritative that it is understood more about the probable risk posed by animal infections.

T discover more, Dr. Els Broens, together with colleagues at Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, examined dogs and cats of people who had tested positive for the virus.

A mobile veterinary clinic visited the homes of pet owners who had tested positive in the past two to 200 days. Following this, oropharyngeal and rectal swabs and blood samples were collected from their dog and cat pets.

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Science Times - Pet Owners Can Easily Transfer COVID-19 Infection to Their Cats, Dogs [Study]
(Photo: Lenka Novotná on Pixabay)
An expert said, if one has COVID-19, he should avoid contact with his dog or cat pet, just as he would with other people.


COVID-19 Testing for Pets

This report also indicated that the swabs were used in PCR tests, which offer evidence of present infection. The blood specimens were tested for antibodies, which offer evidence of the previous infection.

A similar PM News specified that about 156 dogs and 154 cats from more than 190 households were tested in all. Six of the cats and seven dogs, about 4.2 percent, had positive PCR test results and 31 cats and 23 dogs, approximately 17.4 percent, tested positive for antibodies.

In addition, 11 of the 13 owners whose pets tested positive with COVID-19 agreed for them to go through a second round of testing one to three weeks after their initial testing.

All 11 animals tested positive for antibodies, confirming they had had COVID-19. Three cats still had positive PCR test results and were tested for the third time. Ultimately, all animals with positive PCR tests cleared the infection and became PCR negative.

COVID-19 Transmission Among Pets in the Same Homes

Consequently, eight cats and dogs that lived in the same homes as the pets that had positive PCR test results were tested again, the second time to check for virus spread among pets.

None among them tested positive, suggesting the infection was not being transmitted between pets living in close contact with one another.

With pets in 40 out of 196 households, or 20.4 percent had antibodies for COVID-19, the said research showed that the virus is highly prevalent in pets of those infected with the virus.

The study authors said, with other studies showing infection rates to be higher in pets that have been in contact with people who had the virus, as explained in Mayo Clinic, compared to pets that didn't have much contact, the most likely route of transmission from human to pet, instead of the other round.

Role of Pets in the Pandemic

According to Dr. Broens, if one has COVID-19, he should avoid contact with his dog or cat pet, just as he would with other people.

The main concern, though, he added, is not the health of animals. They may have had no or mild COVID-19 symptoms, although the potential risk that dogs and cats act as a reservoir of the disease and reintroduce it into the human populace.

Luckily, the doctor explained, at present, no pet-to-human transmission has been reported and recorded. Therefore, despite the rather high prevalence among pets from COVID-19 positive households, it appears unlikely that pets are playing a vital role in the pandemic.

Related information is shown on ProCPR's YouTube video below:

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