Rome, Oct. 16 (Adnkronos Health) – Can pets transmit Covid-19? Can they contract it? And, if so, how to protect us and our 4-legged friends? To answer are the experts of Dottoremaeveroche, the anti-fake news site of Fnomceo, the National Federation of Medical Orders: “To date, there is no evidence that pets can transmit the Sars-Cov-2 virus to humans. and play an active role in the spread of Covid-19, which – they recall – spreads mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks “.
Veterinary surveillance and experimental studies, however, “suggest that pets can become infected through contact with infected people, similar to what happens for cohabitants. It is important to protect the animals of Covid-19 patients. , limiting their exposure “.
Pets, in particular dogs and cats, living with Covid-19 positive “rapidly develop antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus – explain the doctors – Dogs appear less susceptible to Sars-Cov-2 and asymptomatic infections are recorded, while cats can develop respiratory diseases, however in a mild form “. This is confirmed by a recent pre-publication study, not yet peer-reviewed.
The researchers involved in the study, including Nicola Decaro, full professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Bari, collected and analyzed the data of 817 pets subjected to swabs during routine visits, especially in Lombardy, but also in other Northern Regions particularly affected by the virus from March to May. In this extensive epidemiological investigation it was found that “companion animals living in areas with high human infection can become infected”.
However, “based on current knowledge – they explain – infected pets are unlikely to play an active role in the transmission of Sars-Cov-2 to humans. However, animal-to-human transmission may be more likely under certain environmental conditions. , such as the high animal population density found in infected mink farms. “
Dogs and cats “do not constitute a source of danger for humans”, the researchers highlight, clarifying that, despite “the low risks of transmission to humans, serological surveillance of companion animals could be useful to eliminate any potential danger”. In any case, “it is not justified for any reason to adopt measures that could compromise in any way the welfare of one’s animal”.
To protect the 4 legs of the house, it is good to “wash your hands before and after being out of the house or caressing the animals; wash your hands after handling their food or their supplies; avoid kissing, being licked by animals or to share food; when returning from a walk, always clean the paws of pets avoiding aggressive and alcohol-based products as they can cause itching, preferring instead products without the addition of perfume (water and neutral soap).
“People infected with Sars-Cov-2 should preferably avoid close contact with their pets – the doctors recommend – first by wearing a mask and, when possible, delegating their care to others. In case you suspect or have confirms that they have been infected, if there are pets in the residential unit it is necessary to report it to the veterinary services of the ASL. In this way, at the time of the first swab carried out on the patient, the epidemiological record will also include the census of pets and their health will also be monitored remotely “.