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Corona in pets: danger for humans and animals is low


Pets can also become infected with the corona virus, as some cases in Germany have shown. However, experts give the all-clear.

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Woman with domestic cat

Photo: Nadtochiy / Zoonar / picture alliance

The corona virus does not only affect people, the pandemic has shown this more often.

And not only wild animals in Asia, where the virus originates according to the current status, are affected, but also those that people like to bring into their homes.

Most recently, hamsters and other small animals were affected in Hong Kong, which is why 2,000 rodents were killed to be on the safe side.

Because transmission of Sars-CoV-2 to humans cannot be ruled out, it said.

This should also worry many German pet owners.

But the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health is now giving the all-clear.

There was no evidence of relevant transmission of the corona virus from pets to humans, said Elke Reinking, spokeswoman for the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), at the request of the German Press Agency.

As a rule, the infection occurs from humans to animals, said Reinking, referring to 13 infections in pets that have been reported in Germany so far, one in a dog and twelve in cats. So far nothing is known about infections of pets in Germany with the rapidly spreading omicron variant. "We don't yet know exactly how omicron behaves in pets," says Reinking. The ability to bind to receptors in humans alone does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the severity of a disease or the infectivity of pets.

The killing of around 2,000 hamsters and other small animals was recently ordered in Hong Kong for fear that the virus could spread among the animals and also spread to humans. According to reports, the cause was the case of a pet shop owner who had been diagnosed with the first infection with the Delta variant in Hong Kong for months. Subsequently, hamsters imported from the Netherlands tested positive in their shop.

FLI spokeswoman Reinking pointed out that transmission of the virus from kept animals to humans had so far only been documented in Danish mink farms.

To avoid infecting pets, Reinking advised avoiding close contact with susceptible pets such as dogs or cats in the event of human infection.

Vaccination of humans significantly reduces the probability of infection of pets.

Meanwhile, the government's decision caused outrage in Hong Kong.

According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, around 25,000 people have signed a petition that has so far unsuccessfully tried to stop the killing of animals.

Pet shop owners sharply criticized the government's actions.

Scientists, on the other hand, asked for understanding.

It was quite possible that the corona virus would be transmitted from humans to hamsters or among the animals themselves, then from hamsters back to humans.

Since there was not enough time to determine the genomic information, a quick decision was needed, said Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, the paper.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-01-21

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