What role do Pets play in a pandemic? Experts sound a note of caution

cats can get Covid-19 – but what does that mean? The popular Pets are just one of several species that can infect humans with Sars-CoV-2. Also ferrets, dogs, ha

What role do Pets play in a pandemic? Experts sound a note of caution

cats can get Covid-19 – but what does that mean? The popular Pets are just one of several species that can infect humans with Sars-CoV-2. Also ferrets, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, and even lions and tigers are susceptible to the pandemic virus. This is not only for the animals a Problem: Should spread the disease among animals, can change the course of the epidemic dramatically.

A pure people limited infectious disease can be contained through measures such as Social Distancing and quarantine. You have no contact with Infected, you can be sure. A pathogen is widespread in animals, it is never completely gone. For example, the Hantavirus found in the rodents. In Germany every year fall ill a few dozen to a few thousand people in it.

such A scenario would be for people with a strong contagious Virus such as Sars-CoV-2 particularly unpleasant. For example, cats would spread the epidemic among themselves, they could trigger virtually all protection measures for new outbreaks in people – even far away from the Infected.

is a Reservoir in domestic animals?

However, this is seen by experts as unlikely. "I see the risk that Sars-CoV-2 established in cats or other domestic animals as a Reservoir, which is currently low", says Franz Conraths, Director of the Institute for epidemiology of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute for animal health on the island of Riems. The Veterinarian points out that it is for viruses as difficult is, starting from the people-an epidemic in animals to trigger, as in the opposite direction.

In the case of humans, it has been proven that a few of the clip-on enough payments, in no way, in order for an animal virus was not epidemic in the people lost. On The Contrary. Studies in China show that people come again and again with the Sars-like coronavirus from animals in contact, for the pathogens, but almost always a dead end. The reverse is also true.

And just Pets are a very bad place to get out of the cul-de-SAC finally come out. The high population have declared it density in humans, Sars-CoV-2 facilitates the Transmission in the new way, the researchers. "When a Virus jumps to another species, is an evolutionary process." For the emergence of an epidemic is important that the causative agent spreads easily between individuals of the new species.

For a General all-clear, it is still too early

Compared with people who use public transport or go to a Restaurant, have Pets such as cats or even hamsters tend to have little social contacts. And thus the Chance that the Virus learns in the course of multiple Transmissions to spread them effectively is reduced. However, it is, according to many specialists for a General all-clear too early – especially since there were already two alleged Return of infection to people. The polluter-pays were mink on a fur farm.

in the case of domestic and big cats, as well as the related ferrets and mink are equally susceptible, suggesting that also other members of the affected Animals can carry the Virus. First of all, you know still very little about farm animals that are kept in much closer contact with their fellow animals as Pets. Pigs, chickens and ducks seem to be according to experiments from the pathogen-infected.

In the case of cattle or sheep, for example, has looked, however, simply no one, nor in wild animals. The latter are a possible back entrance back to the people, says, for example, Linda Saif, Virologist at the Ohio State University in Wooster. "Should establish a Sars-CoV-2 in wild animals or other species, farm animals a lot of contact, it increases the Chance of Transmission between these species", she says to "Nature".

cats are not able to infect the main suspects

How many species of animals with the Coronavirus, and how big is the risk of a reservoir of the Virus in animals, which is, of knowledge, researchers to date. Unlike many specialized pathogens corona viruses "are known to be relatively common also to other animal species it a try," says Conraths, just like another well-known pathogens: the Influenza A Virus.

In this pathogen can have serious consequences. Already for a long time, experts fear that a pandemic flu virus could survive in an animal Reservoir, if it has gone missing in humans. Several animal species, especially pigs, are able to offer Influenza a castle, and the origin of a new pandemic be, if after a few years of the immune disappeared protection from the pathogen again. Whether this be a risk for Sars-Cov-2, is open so far.

Some experts however see the very real danger that already have a Reservoir in animals and the course of the pandemic changed. Currently, the main suspect, which can infect demonstrably and often right in your neighborhood move are cats. According to a report in "Nature" is in an old people's home in Bavaria, the suspicion that a cat transmitted the pathogen between isolated inhabitants.

experts are warning to be careful when handling Pets

It is at least possible that Pets be infected already, people with the Virus. Therefore, the Friedrich-Loeffler recommends the Institute for animal health in General be very careful when handling a dog, cat and other Pets. A person in the household is infected, is to take care of, therefore, a non-infected Person to the animal, in order to avoid Transmission. However, the Institute advises not to give the animal out of the house, to avoid carrying the disease to other people.

so Far, however, no such contagion is occupied by Pets clearly. Also, in the case of the mink, the broadcast supposedly the pathogen to humans, remain a big question mark. That the Transmission emanated really from the animal, is only difficult to prove, especially since the possibility of a symptomless infected person gives the Virus more. So far it is not even clear whether, and in what way cats and other animals excrete the Virus.

Not the least of Association to make tents infection cases no Reservoir. Pets may carry the Virus in the sense of an extended contact infection from person to person, but as long as the Virus is circulating independently in them, this has no effect on the course of the epidemic. "Sars-CoV-2 says Yes now, unfortunately, I must say, very well to the Transmission of human-to-human adjusted", Conraths. That's why the Veterinarian is of the view that Transfers from an animal to play on the people for the pandemic hardly a role: "The Problem of the risk of contagion between people." You currently have big Fears? Coach explains how you draw right now, new courage, FOCUS Online, you currently have big Fears? Coach explains how you draw right now, new courage

*The post "What role do Pets play in a pandemic? Experts sound a note of caution" will be released by Spektrum.de. Contact with the executives here.

Updated Date: 07 June 2020, 05:26

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