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New COVID-19 variant that may be associated with pet heart problems

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Key Point

  • Researchers have discovered the “first case” of a British subspecies in pet cats and dogs
  • Only one of the positive pets recovered well
  • Pet owners should be careful around their pets if infected with COVID-19

Early COVID-19 variants are known to cause respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and runny nose in infected pet cats and dogs. Currently, researchers are reporting heart problems, a possibly feared symptom of the pet’s B117 (UK) mutant.

The British variant was first detected in Kent County in December.Despite strict restrictions, it has become the dominant variant in the UK

Like the previous variants, this one too Affect pets..New SurveyAlthough not yet peer-reviewed, researchers have reported the “first case” of a British subspecies infection in pet cats and dogs.

Pet heart problems

It began when veterinarians at the Ralph Veterinary Referral Center noticed a surge in pet cases with myocarditis and inflammation of the heart muscle from December to February. Parents..

Although the number of pets was not very high, this surge was consistent with the surge in human cases caused by British variants.

No pet had a history of heart disease, and most pet owners with myocarditis developed respiratory COVID-19 symptoms 3 to 6 weeks before the pet became ill, the researchers said. It was.

When 11 animals with myocarditis were tested, 2 cats and 1 dog were positive in the rectal sample. Two other cats and another dog also tested positive on blood samples, according to The Guardian.

However, these pets did not show respiratory symptoms like other pets that were previously virus-positive, the researchers wrote. Instead, there were “atypical” symptoms, including “severe heart abnormalities secondary to myocarditis.”

All but one pet improved and recovered after a few days of intensive care. One pet that did not recover was a recurrent cat and had to be euthanized.

Don’t panic

“As far as we know, this is the first report of infection in both cats and dogs by the British B.1.1.7138 mutant of SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers wrote. Myocarditis was observed as COVID-19, he said. Human complications, probably due to an “exaggerated immune response”.

However, it has not yet been proven whether it was the virus that actually caused the pet’s heart problems, Slash gear OK.

“We don’t want to spread panic unnecessarily, especially because of the high suspicion of human-to-pet transmission at this point, but not the other way around. This is not certain,” said Luca Ferasin, research leader at RVRC. .. “But veterinarians need to be aware of this so that they can start testing if they suspect a case of possible Covid infection.”

according to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSo far, there is no evidence that animals play an important role in the spread of COVID-19. To date, the main means of spreading SARSCoV-2 is to spread from person to person through respiratory droplets when talking, laughing, coughing, or sneezing.

“Based on the limited information available so far, animals are considered to have a low risk of spreading COVID-19 to people,” the agency said. “People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals such as pets, livestock and wildlife.”

Professor Margaret Hosey of the University of Glasgow’s Center for Virus Research also said that it is “impossible to rule out the possibility” that viral shedding is simply accidental.

“The message to pet owners is the same. If you have Covid-19, be aware that you can infect your pet. Avoid contact with your pet and if that is not possible Please wear a mask for preparation, etc. Pet food. “

In this way, humans can also prevent pets from becoming infected.

Pet dog A typical image of a pet dog. Photo: pixabay

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