Scientific Director of the National Veterinary School of Alfort (EnvA), Professor Renaud Tissier recalls that there is nothing to suspect that the cat represents a risk of contamination for humans. With his colleagues, he tested the first cat contaminated with coronavirus in France.
“No evidence” of transmission to humans
There are only a handful of cats infected with Covid-19 worldwide, “less than a dozen”, report the specialists. To date in France, two have tested positive, the first in Essonne, the second in Bordeaux. In all cases, transmission has taken place from humans to animals. “There are indeed rare cases of transmission, which have been spotted in some cats, and in ferrets too. They live in a state of extreme proximity with patients with Covid-19 “, specifies Renaud Tissier.
“There is nothing to say today that the opposite is possible”, specifies the scientific director on the antenna of France Bleu Paris. An observation that had already reminded the French health agency Anses. “So there is no evidence that pets are linked to the spread of the epidemic”, he specifies. If a few cases of contamination to cats have been proven, there are even fewer concerning dogs. “Experimental animal infections show us that the dog seems much less receptive to the new coronavirus”, says Renaud Tissier.
Let the owners of furballs reassure themselves, “there is no special measure to adopt with your pet, only common sense”, explains the professor, for example ensure “wash your hands before and after petting your pet”. To protect it, you also need “take care to avoid close contact“when you’re sick. “We are not going to try to disinfect our animal with hydro-alcoholic gel“, he warns.
The question of rats in Paris
France Bleu Paris revealed this Wednesday, May 13: with the high concentration of coronavirus in wastewater, sewer workers say they are worried about their health. This raises the question of rats, many of them walking the streets of the capital. But on this point also Renaud Tissier wants to be reassuring: “there is no risk with rats”, he reassures. Rodents are among the least susceptible to contamination, explains the professor, since tests show that it “they have to be genetically modified to be able to contaminate them”.