More cats infected with coronavirus than previously considered: Study

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Sep 11, 2020, 04:38 PM(IST)

Cats Photograph:( AFP )

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It also noted that cats are battling COVID-19 due to the development of natural antibodies, however, they still face a risk of reinfection

There has been enough evidence now that animals are not immune to novel coronavirus. And in new research in China's Wuhan, coronavirus's very first epicentre, it has been found that cats are getting infected with coronavirus more than first believed. 

The study, conducted by Huazhong Agricultural University and published in journal Emerging Microbes & Infections, found COVID-19 antibodies present in blood samples of 15 cats out of the 102 that were part of the study. 

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It also noted that cats are battling COVID-19 due to the development of natural antibodies, however, they still face a risk of reinfection. 

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It also showed that 11 cats had neutralising antibodies, which help to successfully block the infection.

The study was conducted between January and March 2020, when the outbreak first hit Wuhan and collected nasal and anal swabs from the felines.

Interestingly, the results of return visits found that the cats didn't show any obvious symptoms of the deadly virus and tested negative in the COVID-19 tests.

None of the cats that participated in the study died too. 

For the research, 46 abandoned cats from three animal shelters, 41 from five pet hospitals and 15 from coronavirus patient families, were involved.

The study also revealed that the three cats with the highest number of antibodies are owned by COVID-19 patients. 

Meilin Jin, study's lead author, said no evidence has been found on cat-to-human transmission, but warned that precautions must be taken. 
 

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