The COVID-19 disease is known to first arrive into our society from the animal world, likely from bats or pangolins. But can humans who carry the coronavirus also infect animals such as their pets? This is one of the most lingering questions since the start of the pandemic, and we may finally have a reliable answer.
According to FoxNews.com, scientists from the UK have found evidence of humans-to-cats SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Although the cats from a new study didn’t live in the same household as their owners who infected them, that didn’t stop the coronavirus transmission.
Two cats contracted COVID from their owners
Researchers from the University of Glasgow discovered the two cats, and the animals developed mild to severe symptoms shortly after their owners had undergone the same process.
One of the two cats was a ragdoll kitten, and it was euthanized after its condition became a burden too big to cope with. The other cat is a 6-year-old Siamese, and fortunately enough, the feline recovered.
While speaking for The Guardian, Professor Margaret Hosie with the Centre for Virus Research from the University of Glasgow emphasized the importance of further research on the topic of COVID transmission between animals and humans:
These two cases of human-to-animal transmission, found in the feline population in the UK, demonstrate why it is important that we improve our understanding of animal Sars-CoV-2 infection.
Hosie also added:
Currently, animal-to-human transmission represents a relatively low risk to public health in areas where human-to-human transmission remains high. However, as human cases decrease, the prospect of transmission among animals becomes increasingly important as a potential source of Sars-CoV-2 reintroduction to humans.
It is therefore important to improve our understanding of whether exposed animals could play any role in transmission.
The new study was published in the Veterinary Record.