In a first, Covid variant Alpha found in pets, says study    

WION Web Team
New Delhi  Published: Nov 06, 2021, 05:07 PM(IST)

Dogs in face mask (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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For the first time, cases of Alpha variant of Sars-CoV-2 or Covid virus have been detected in pets. Two cats and a dog have tested positive in a PCR test. Covid cases in pets remained ‘relatively rare’. The transmission seems to be taking place from humans to pets and not the other way round

For the first time, cases of Alpha variant of Sars-CoV-2 or Covid virus have been detected in pets. Two cats and a dog have tested positive in a PCR test.   

The team, which conducted the study, also clarified Covid in pets remained ‘relatively rare’. The transmission seems to be taking place from humans to pets and not the other way round.   

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Dr Luca Ferasin, lead author, UK-based Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, while commenting on the research, said that the exercise has highlighted the growing risk of domestic animals getting infected with the virus.

“Our study reports the first cases of cats and dogs affected by the Alpha Covid variant. We also reported the atypical clinical manifestations characterised by severe heart abnormalities, which is a well-recognised complication in people affected by COVID-19, but has never been found in pets before,” Dr Ferasin added.   

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In addition to the above animals, two other cats and a dog displayed antibodies two to six weeks after developing signs of cardiac disease.    

These pets had an acute onset of cardiac disease, which includes severe myocarditis. It leads to the inflammation of the heart muscle.    

(With inputs from agencies) 

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