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The cat got a new coronavirus? Don't be too scared

The cat got a new coronavirus? Don't be too scared



After two cases of coronavirus infection in dogs were found in Hong Kong, another latest news sounded the alarm among animal lovers: a cat in Belgium showed obvious symptoms of neocoronavirus infection.

The cat's owner was recently diagnosed. The cat reportedly had difficulty breathing at first and developed diarrhea one week later. A veterinarian at the Belgian National University of Liège tested the cat for neocoronavirus and found the viral nucleic acid in its vomit sample.

Here comes the question. Is it time to worry about our cat owners getting the new crown virus?

In short-not yet. It is too early to draw conclusions from this case of infection in Belgium. We must first find answers to several key questions.

Many people have a question. Is this cat really infected with this new coronavirus or is it a coronavirus that is only circulating in cats? Some coronaviruses have been circulating in cats for decades.

There are two main types of feline coronavirus: one can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms, and one can cause feline infectious peritonitis with a high mortality rate. At the genetic level, feline coronavirus and neocoronavirus look very different. In other words, as long as we use the correct tests, we will not confuse the two viruses.

One thing we need to keep in mind is that the standard test of New Coronavirus only detects nucleic acid sequences and cannot determine whether there is a "live" virus or whether the virus is contagious. Therefore, we are not sure whether the virus found in this cat is breeding.

To confirm the infectivity of neocrown virus to cats, more tests are needed. It's possible that the cat ate the virus-soaked food and the virus entered its stomach. This is unlikely if the amount of viral nucleic acid found in the cat's body is large. Then this data was not released.

Although the two dogs in Hong Kong had no clinical symptoms associated with the new crown, the cat in Belgium had respiratory symptoms. However, veterinarians know that there are a variety of reasons that can cause cats to lose their breath, such as cat asthma and heart disease. Similarly, there is a long list of diseases that can cause diarrhea in cats.

I can't read more about the clinical details of this cat, and we dare not say if the new crown virus caused its symptoms, or if it was all a coincidence.

So, can pets transmit the new crown virus to humans? Fortunately, there is no evidence at this time. Even more reassuring, many veterinary diagnostic laboratories vocalized that they tested thousands of samples of pet cats and dogs and found no new coronavirus.

In addition, as of March 30, there have been more than 720,000 human infections worldwide. If it can be transmitted to pets, then we should know now.

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