Covid-19 vaccinations may be needed for cats, dogs as well: Scientists
Cats and dogs may need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), a group of scientists said in an editorial in journal Virulence, reported UK's Daily Mail.
As per the scientists, the domesticated animals can become 'reservoirs' of the virus as they can get infected posing a 'significant long-term' threat for the humans with the virus continuously evolving during the transmissions.
"It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might ... be necessary to curb the spread of the infection," the Daily mail quoted the scientists from the University of East Anglia, the Earlham Institute in Norwich and the University of Minnesota as saying in the editorial.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US had earlier said even though some pets have reported to be tested positive for the coronavirus, the risk of animals spreading Covid-19 to people is considerably low. The CDC had warned people to be healthy around their pets and treat them as family members as close contact with humans can cause infections in pets.
The minks farms in Denmark had too witnessed a surge in the number of coronavirus cases leading to mulling of the animals farmed for their fur.
"It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets... We really need to be prepared for any eventuality, " said Cock van Oosterhout, professor of evolutionary genetics at UEA, reported the Daily Mail.
The author and expert had also pointed out that Russia has begun developing vaccines for the pets.
The editor in chief, Kevin Tyler, was quoted as saying cats can be infected by the virus and they can be asymptomatic hence can infect the human too. "The risk is that, as long as there are these reservoirs, that it starts to pass as it did in the mink from animal to animal, and then starts to evolve animal-specific strains, but then they spill back into the human population and you end up essentially with a new virus which is related which causes the whole thing all over again," he had said.
The scientists have asked the governments to take necessary actions in order to mitigate the risk of evolution of dangerous and more contagious virus mutants that will pose a greater risk for the human population.
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