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Is it possible for a very dangerous COVID mutation to appear in our pets?This is science




Recent proposals that the minister may have to consider Selection or vaccination Animals to prevent coronavirus Picking up another dangerous mutation and returning to humans may sound like a sudden panic, but it’s only part of a long debate among scientists.

Evidence that cats can become infected SARS-CoV-2, NS virus It causes COVID, As early as April 2020 From Wuhan, China.Evidence that they can also spread the infection To other cats Appeared in the same month under certain conditions.

Since then, infection has been confirmed In mink In Denmark and the Netherlands Big cat in the zoo, NS dog, Range with ferrets Other species.. The source of SARS-CoV-2 is Probably a bat Other types of wildlife can also be infected.

When some of these species are infected with SARS-CoV-2, they can cause real illness and cause veterinary, welfare, or protection problems. However, communication with companion animals, which spend a lot of time in close contact with people, also presents additional issues for trying to control. Pandemic In humans.

For example, if an infection between humans and cats is easy to occur, controlling people’s pandemics may require measures to prevent it. This may include vaccination and quarantine of cats.

There is good proof of sending from From humans to cats However, there is little evidence of cat-to-human transmission. Also, there is little evidence of transmission between cats under normal circumstances (ie, not in the laboratory). At this time, there is no real reason to worry about cat infections being a major problem.

Family and friends using COVID are at much greater risk than cats, but with other illnesses ( Toxoplasmosis) From a cat.

Currently, there is no significant risk from pet cats and dogs that justify certain management methods such as culling and quarantine. However, in the long run, there are concerns about the emergence of new variants.

They can be more easily transmitted (like alpha variants) and more likely to infect vaccinated or previously infected people (like beta variants). Mutants can cause more serious illness. Or it can cause mild illness and become like a normal winter cold or flu.

Further emergence of these variants is almost inevitable, as the virus adapts to all attempts to control it.These new varieties of people are being discovered quickly because they are running in the UK The largest surveillance program in history..

The long-term risk of SARS-CoV-2 in other species may not be recognized as a problem until new, more offensive variants emerge as the virus begins to circulate in them and are returned to people. Is to have.

Although rare, the UK Government needed to consider these possible future scenarios, and the potential for new variants in animals was part of it. Recent reports From the Emergency Science Advisory Group (SAGE) on the long-term evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

The most important way to reduce risk is monitoring to identify new subspecies of animals that have not yet appeared in humans. So don’t be surprised if your pet asks you to provide a sample of a cotton swab if you have respiratory symptoms. If that happens, you may be asked to provide it yourself.

Mass vaccination of pets is unlikely

The chances of vaccination of pets are much lower. Vaccines for dogs and cats with COVID have been developed, but there may be problems demonstrating their effectiveness.

The vaccine was approved for use in people only after late-stage human trials, which were followed up to see if many people were vaccinated and protected from infection. Nevertheless, a sufficient number of people in the trial needed to be infected to demonstrate the efficacy of the COVID and control vaccines.

Performing similar trials in dogs and cats is difficult during low infection rates (or even unknown as they are today), and small trials do not provide sufficient evidence.

It may be possible to use the same vaccine for cats and dogs as for humans, but it also poses a risk.this is Currently accepted Exposing vaccinated people to new infections may be a way to select mutants that can escape the immune response caused by the vaccine.

If the same basic vaccine design is used in cats and dogs, this may select vaccine “escape variants” for those species and can be returned to vaccinated people.

Especially if the vaccine has not been shown to be more effective than humans, or if the vaccine is given only to some cats and dogs.

There is very little widespread euthanasia of pets as a precautionary measure (what is called “selection” of livestock and wildlife).

Imagine a very dangerous and potentially deadly variant spreading from a cat to its owner or family.People’s infections are ideally contained by proper isolation in the right facilities (a small number). Ebola (In the UK), stop spreading. You can then euthanize the original cat’s direct contact with the cat (if any) to reduce the imminent risk to a person or other cat.

Massive euthanasia of cats is meaningless unless the variant is already widespread. If human and animal SARS-CoV-2 monitoring is performed to identify such mutations before they become dangerous, there is no point in worrying about massive euthanasia of pets.

Pet and wildlife surveillance programs are beginning to be funded through government agencies such as UK Research and Innovation. These programs and ongoing discussions will be important in the future to avoid inadequately informed overreactions. conversation

Mick Bailey, Professor of Comparative Immunology, University of Bristol..

This article will be republished from conversation Under a Creative Commons Original work..





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