COVID-19: Study finds coronavirus may be passed between cats
The origin of COVID-19 has yet to be determined, with theories suggesting it was spread to humans from animals when it broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019. However, following a study that suggests pets may also be carriers of the coronavirus, a recent study reveals that cats might not only become carriers, but they can also spread the virus amongst each other.
It is believed that pets may also be potential carriers of COVID-19, and many people all over the world might have to avoid their pets in order to prevent contracting or spreading the virus. A study by researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, found that cats, especially cats may be potential carriers of COVID-19.
The researchers took samples and anal swabs from 102 cats in the city earlier this year, between January and March. The cats were a mix of stray, shelter, domestic cats, and cats staying in a veterinary clinic. Their findings were published in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections and from the 102 cats, 15 were found to have COVID-19 antibodies. From these 15 cats, 11 were found to have neutralizing antibodies, proteins that can bind to and block the virus.
None of the cats showed any symptoms and none died from the virus. Three of the cats that had the highest levels of COVID-19 antibodies were owned by someone who contracted COVID-19. The findings suggest that humans may need to isolate themselves from their pets, especially if someone tests positive.
“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,” said lead author Meijin Jin.
The pandemic has infected millions of people all over the world, with hundreds of thousands dying at the same time. Local governments have ordered the use of face masks when outside, frequent handwashing and disinfecting, and to practice social distancing or remain indoors as much as possible.
A separate study has found that the lessons learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic prove to be useful in another event; a nuclear attack. The study, published in the journal Bulletin of Atomic Scientists detailed how the dangers of a nuclear attack could be combatted with international cooperation, with people willing to suspend their civil liberties for the good of everyone.