A study published Wednesday finds that cats can get infected by coronavirusand transmit it to other cats – but there’s no evidence they can spread theinfection to humans.
Researchers from the University of Tokyo and the University of WisconsinSchool of Veterinary Medicine found that our feline friends “can readilybecome infected” with coronavirus from humans and other cats.
In the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchersadministered the virus – which they had isolated from a human patient – tothree cats, all in separate cages.
The next day, two of the three cats tested positive. Researchers also placed anew cat in each of the separate cages on the second day.
‘We don’t want people to panic’:2 cats test positive for coronavirus;officials recommend precautions for pets
In three days, all three cats initially inoculated with the virus testedpositive. In six days, all six cats – whether or not they were given the virus– were shedding coronavirus.
Crucially, none of the cats showed any signs of illness, and all recovered.
“That was a major finding for us: The cats did not have symptoms,” saidYoshihiro Kawaoka, the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicineprofessor who led the study, in a statement.
There is no evidence that cats can infect humans with the coronavirus.
Still, researchers involved with the study advise staying cautious aroundanimals if you are infected with COVID-19. Two cats in New York – and a dog inNorth Carolina – tested positive for coronavirus. One of the cats and the dogboth lived with humans who were confirmed carriers of coronavirus.
Winston the pug: A North Carolina pug tested positive for coronavirus,possibly the first dog in the U.S.
“It’s something for people to keep in mind,” said Peter Halfmann, a researchprofessor at University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine, in astatement.
“If they are quarantined in their house and are worried about passing COVID-19to children and spouses, they should also worry about giving it to theiranimals.”
Source: Joshua Bote USA TODAY
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