WEDNESDAY, nov. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A Arizona man infects his dog and cat with the new coronavirus, according to a new case study that researchers say is the first in the United States to use genetics to treat such to document transfer.
The owner was not vaccinated, did not do much to protect his pets and had house guests who were not vaccinated. The owner recovered from COVID-19 and both pets were asymptomatic. However, genetic tests showed that the owner, cat and dog were all infected with an identical strain of coronavirus, and the virus spread from the owner to the dog or cat, if both, the researchers concluded.
She explained that the pets were confined to an apartment and had little or no chance of being independently exposed to the virus, so it is highly unlikely that they infected their owner. Also, it was the human of the pets that first exposed COVID symptoms.
The ongoing study is one of five national pilot studies examining COVID-19 in animals, but it is the only one that includes genomic sequencing of the virus from both pets and owners.
“This case study was the first example we had of the project showing the potential for virus transmission from a pet owner to domestic animals,” said rapporteur Hayley Yaglom, an epidemiologist at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Flagstaff, Ariz. .
To protect their pets, owners need to vaccinate. If they receive COVID-19, they should wear masks when they are around their pets and do not cuddle or kiss them, or allow them to swallow their faces or sleep with them, Yaglom advised.
Although it is not necessary to completely isolate their pets, owners with COVID-19 symptoms should minimize contact as “best they can,” Yaglom said in an institute version.
From sept. 1, more than 180 dogs and cats have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, according to the researchers.
The study was published Nov. 1 in the journal One health.
“This is a great example of using genomics to gain intelligence on pathogens,” said David Engelthaler, director of TGen’s Pathogen and Microbiome Division. “This study shows that not only can we use genomics to track COVID variants around the world, but we can also use this technology to track accurate transfers and, in this case, transfer from pet owners to pets.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on pets and COVID-19.
SOURCE: Translational Genomics Research Institute, nov. 1, 2021