Watch | Dogs, cats and COVID-19

Scientists have found neutralising antibodies to the SARS CoV-2 in a small proportion of household cats and dogs sampled in Italy.

This suggests that pets may be susceptible to the disease according to researchers, including those from the University of Liverpool in the U.K.

Samples from over 500 pets were collected and tested during visits to vets in Northern Italy. While no animals tested PCR positive for the virus itself, 3.45% of dogs and 3.9% of cats had measurable SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies.

Dogs from COVID-19 positive households were significantly more likely to test positive than those from COVID-19 negative households.

The study is yet to be peer-reviewed and was published as a pre-print on the website BioRxiv.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a small number of pets worldwide have been reported to be infected with SARS CoV-2, mostly after close contact with COVID-19 patients.

Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.

The CDC advises to not let pets interact with people outside the household and if a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 1:30:20 AM |

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