Beijing, September 10
More cats may be contracting COVID-19 than first believed, in accordance with a research that checked out felines in Wuhan, China, the place the primary identified outbreak of the illness started.
Researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University took blood samples from 102 cats between January and March 2020, following the primary outbreak.
They additionally collected nasal and anal swabs from the felines.
The research, printed within the peer-reviewed journal Emerging Microbes & Infections, confirmed COVID-19 antibodies current in 15 of the blood samples taken from the cats.
It discovered that of those, 11 cats had neutralising antibodies — proteins that bind so efficiently to a virus they block the an infection.
The research exhibits cats are preventing off the virus with naturally developed antibodies, nevertheless, they may very well be liable to reinfection.
According to the outcomes of return visits, not one of the cats truly examined constructive for COVID-19 or displayed apparent signs and none of them died.
The pattern of cats checked out included 46 deserted from three animal shelters, 41 from 5 pet hospitals, and 15 cats have been from COVID-19 affected person households, the researchers stated.
They famous that the three cats with the very best ranges of antibodies have been all owned by sufferers who had been recognized with COVID-19.
There have been additionally indicators of cats being contaminated with the virus by different cats from those who have been deserted or based mostly within the pet hospitals, the researchers stated.
According to Meilin Jin, lead writer of the research, whereas there’s at the moment no proof for cat-to-human transmission, precautions must be thought of.
“Although the infection in stray cats could not be fully understood, it is reasonable to speculate that these infections are probably due to the contact with SARS-CoV-2 polluted environment, or COVID-19 patients who fed the cats,” Jin stated.
“Therefore measures should be considered to maintain a suitable distance between COVID-19 patients and companion animals such as cats and dogs, and hygiene and quarantine measures should also be established for those high-risk animals,” Jin added. PTI