Are house pets like cats more susceptible to COVID-19 mutations? Could pets need a vaccine of their own to stop this?
A recent suggestion that certain ministers could be considering is vaccinating animals in order to help prevent the coronavirus from mutating once again before jumping back to humans, as reported by DailyMail. This, however, is still part of an ongoing debate among certain scientists.
House Pets and COVID-19
There is reported evidence that cats could in fact be infected with the SARS-Cov-2 or COVID-19. There is also evidence that they could also transmit the virus to other cats under certain conditions as seen on ScienceMag.
Ever since then, the infections have strongly been confirmed in mink. The same was also seen in big cats in zoos, in ferrets, dogs, and other species as well. It is also worth noting that the probable origin of the coronavirus was from bats and other wildlife species could also be infected.
Transmission of Cats to Humans
It was noted that if the transmission from cats to humans happens easily, in order to control the pandemic, people could be required to vaccinate and quarantine their cats as well. There is, as of the moment, good evidence for transmission from humans to felines but still very small evidence for felines to humans, according to the CDC.
According to ScienceAlert, there is also still very little evidence regarding transmission between cats in general situations. As of the moment, there is still no reason to be really concerned regarding how the infections in cats could be a major problem.
Risk is Still Higher in Humans
As of the moment, people are at a greater risk of COVID-19 from family and friends compared to their cats. The article noted that it is important to still take hygienic precautions in order to reduce the risk of actually catching other diseases coming from cats. A new study from the CDC shows unvaccinated individuals are twice likely to get infected.
As of the moment, there is still no major risk coming from pets like cats and dogs that would really justify other specific control methods like quarantine or even culling. In the longer term, however, there is still a concern regarding the appearance of other new variants every once in a while.
These might be more easily transmitted, just like the alpha variant, or even more able to infect those that are already vaccinated or previously infected, just like the beta variant. Other variants could cause a more severe disease, or might even cause little severe disease and end up becoming more and more like the other normal winter colds or the basic flu.
As of the moment, the most important method of reducing the risk will be to actually survey to identify any of the new variants in animals that still aren't appearing in certain people. This means that people shouldn't be surprised when a vet asks for a swab sample from pets should they have respiratory symptoms.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Urian B.