A new study in Veterinary Records shows that pets may be infected with the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans). variant. Or B.1.1.7. Due to its higher infectivity and contagiousness, this variant quickly surpassed the pre-existing variant in England.
The study described the first identification of the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic pets; two cats and one dog tested positive for PCR, while the other two cats and one dog showed signs of heart disease. It showed antibodies by six weeks. Many owners of these pets developed respiratory symptoms a few weeks before their pets became ill and tested positive for COVID-19.
All these pets suffer from acute heart disease, including severe myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
“Our study reports the first cases of cats and dogs affected by the alpha variant of COVID-19, and emphasizes the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in companion animals more than ever before,” the lead author, Luca of DVM Ferasin said. , PhD, Ralph Veterinary Referral Center, UK. “We have also reported atypical clinical manifestations characterized by severe cardiac abnormalities, which are recognized complications for people affected by COVID-19, but have never been described in pets before. However, COVID-19 infection in pets It is still a relatively rare disease. Based on our observations, it seems to be passed from person to pet, not the other way around.”