Cats and dogs are also included in the study of health workers who have been infected with the new corona virus. This is what researcher Els Broens of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University explains Heart of the Netherlands.
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Infected care workers are also asked whether they have dogs or cats and if so (and give the owners permission) samples are taken from the animals. Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten had previously launched an investigation into possible contamination of and among pigs, and now also wants an investigation into these pets.
« Roll distribution negligible »
Broens considers the chance that cats currently play a role in the spread to be negligible, but experiments with the animals show that they are sensitive to the virus. “This was already apparent during the investigation into the SARS outbreak in 2003, a corona virus that is very similar to the current corona virus.
Moreover, according to her, cats are not only sensitive to contracting the new coronavirus. « There has also been spread between cats in these studies. » Dogs were found to be less sensitive to the new coronavirus, but antibodies were found in a few of the dogs studied. That is why they are also included in the research, explains Broens.
No other pets
It has been briefly considered to include other pets in the study, but quite a few animals are needed to be able to do thorough research. So the researchers stick to dogs and cats, and that is why hamsters, for example, spring from the dance.
In the meantime, corona has also been detected in minks at two farms in North Brabant. It is very likely that the animals were infected by employees. Not a huge surprise, says Broens. Ferrets have also been included in the studies of the new coronavirus and have also been shown to be sensitive. Ferrets and minks are closely related. ”
Also read: Coronavirus diagnosed on mink farming: probably human to animal infection