(Image source from: sciencenews.org)
Two cats in New York are the first reported pets to have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus. These are the first reported cases of pets getting infected in the United States, as per the reports from the federal government.
The cats have showcased mild signs of respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery soon. It is believed that the cats either contracted the disease from someone in the household or someone from the neighbourhood.
Although these are the first pets to be infected, there have been prior reports of animals infected with the novel coronavirus. Some of the tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo being one of them.
The US authorities have reported that even though there are evidences that some of the animals are contracting the virus from the humans, there are no reports on whether or not the same is further transmitted to a human.
“We don't want people to panic. We don't want people to be afraid of pets or to rush to test them en masse,” Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC official said.
Even though the risks are still under control when it infects the animals, the CDC has issued strong advisory to avoid letting the pets interact with strangers out on the street. It is extremely important to keep the pets inside the home and not out to parks and such crowded spots.
The coronavirus testing for an animal is still not required until and unless they have been exposed to someone who has been infected with the virus. If the animal has symptoms and has come in contact with someone with Covid-19, only then should the tests be done.
The vets who think that tests are needed have to talk to the state health officials and get approvals before carrying out the process.
Barton Behravesh has reported that the animal testing for the Covid-19 is done in the animal testing labs and used other chemicals and such to test them out.
Scientists are still working on finding the possible mode of transmission of the disease from animals to humans, in case there is something like that happening.
They have also reported that till now, it isn’t likely that the livestock and poultry are susceptible to the virus. Both of the cats who have been infected are from different parts of New York, although the exact cities have not been disclosed.
The first cat fell sick after coming in contact with a person in the household who complained of mild respiratory symptoms. For the second cat, it was the owner who was infected with Covid-19. Another cat in the same home has not shown any signs of the disease yet.
Some of the health agencies have reported to avoid petting or snuggling the pets for the time being. They have also suggested to wear a mask while caring for their pets.
Aside from these, there have been some other reports suggesting infection of Covid-19 in some pet dogs and cats around in Hong Kong.
Even the infected tigers and lions around in the Bronx zoo are reportedly doing well at the moment and have recovered from their symptoms.
By Somapika Dutta