Cats can become infected with the new coronavirus but dogs appear not to be vulnerable, according to a study published on Wednesday, prompting the WHO to say it will take a closer look at transmission of the virus between humans and pets.
The study, published on the website of the journal Science, found that ferrets can also become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the scientific term for the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
Dogs, chickens, pigs, and ducks are not likely to catch the virus, however, the researchers found.
The study was aimed at identifying which animals are vulnerable to the virus so they can be used to test experimental vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 83,000 people worldwide since it emerged in China in early December.
SARS-CoV-2 is believed to have spread from bats to humans. Except for a few reported infections in cats and dogs, there has not been strong evidence that pets can be carriers.
Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, that the zoo said on April 5, 2020 has tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen in an undated handout photo. (Reuters)
The dog of a Covid-19 patient in Hong Kong has tested “weak-positive” for the #coronavirus, but officials say there is no evidence pets can spread the infection https://t.co/DK8ShrWbyR pic.twitter.com/WMQRkoMXdu— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) March 5, 2020