There are very few cases of coronavirus among pets, but they must still be studied. Veterinarians warn: “No alarmism, cats and dogs don't transmit the virus”
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been over 69 thousand deaths and more 1,2 million cases of coronavirus among men. Just four of them are among the animals, two dogs, a cat and a tiger from a zoo. All not sick, but with the presence of the virus in the body . Also from these few numbers doubts were born on the possibility of contagion and transmission . Doubts immediately dispelled by experts.
“To date there is no evidence of a human risk compared to animals, but this is also fundamental in the sea of research that is being carried out.
We need to carry out an epidemiological study, this is among the many things that we lack in the knowledge of this virus ». The virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco reiterates that there is no evidence that pets play a role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 , but that research must go in all possible directions, in the study of the behavior of the virus with respect to the organisms it encounters.
Also for veterinarians it is a new virus «of which we have partial information from the Chinese epicenter», explains Francesco Orifici, veterinarian who is part of the National Association of Veterinary Doctors Italian . «For the two cases referable to the two dogs of Honk Hong we know little, we know that they probably got infected, but not infected. Detecting a virus at the level of the oropharyngeal mucous membranes does not mean that that animal developed the pathology “.
These animals did not, however, get sick. “We expect”, explains the veterinarian, “that animals that are in close coexistence with sick people who eliminate large quantities of viruses can come into contact with this . How there is the possibility of finding viruses throughout the home of the infected person. Instead, research is being done to understand if, after a mutation of the virus genome, this can adapt to the animal. This has not happened for now “.
The cases are so limited that I do not allow current statistics, but certainties come from the past. «We have known for decades that dogs and cats can host some viruses of the coronavirus family and we also know that these viruses are hosted from animals they never made the leap. There has never been the transmission from dog or cat to humans of other coronaviruses in the past “.
Without unnecessary alarmism, “because animals are fundamental in these days of isolation from a psychological point of view”, even veterinarians are open to parallel studies. “You cannot think in terms of sectors, the health of the individual animal or of the human being alone, you need specific skills to look at what health is as a whole . “
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