July 2021: Q &A about Animals, and Covid Vaccine
Animal studies are essential for advancing medicine and science. This includes the current global quest for treatments and covid vaccine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can animals be infected with Covid (SARS-CoV-2)?
Yes, several animal species have demonstrated susceptibility to the virus through experimental infection, and in natural settings when in contact with infected humans. There is also evidence that infected animals can transmit the virus to other animals in natural settings through contact, such as mink to mink transmission, and mink to cat transmission. Infection of animals with SARS-CoV-2 has implications for animal and human health, animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and biomedical research. However, not all species appear to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. To date, findings from experimental infection studies show that poultry and cattle are not susceptible to infection.
What are the implications of animal infections with Covid – 19?
Although several animal species have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, these infections are not the driver of the current COVID-19 pandemic which is human-to-human transmission.
However, there are valid concerns about the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs in wild or domestic animals, which could pose a continued public health risk and lead to future spillover events to humans. Consequently, susceptible animal populations in close contact with humans should be closely monitored. The virus introduction to a new animal species might accelerate its evolution, which could potentially impact on surveillance and control strategies. Additionally, the conservation efforts might be undermined with the introduction of the virus to susceptible endangered animal populations, leading to biodiversity loss. Further investigation is needed to fully understand these risks.
Covid-19 dog infection symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
- Eye discharge.
What covid vaccines have been tested on animals
According to Lassube France, Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been tested on animals, and both vaccines passed animal trials.
Reuters has published that “Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which have been granted emergency authorization use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, all conducted animal trials and had no significant safety concerns to report.”
Zoetis Donates COVID Vaccines to Help Support the Health of Zoo Animals
Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its experimental COVID vaccine to help protect the health and well-being of more than 100 mammalian species living in nearly 70 zoos, as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations located in 27 states. The vaccine has been authorized for experimental use on a case by case basis by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the appropriate state veterinarians. The vaccines deployment to dozens of zoos follows Zoetis’ response in January to a request from the San Diego Zoo following confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the gorillas at the San Diego Safari Park.
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At least two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo has announced. They aren’t the first animals to contract the coronavirus in this pandemic, and they probably won’t be the last.
Which animals can get the coronavirus?
Besides the gorillas, we know that some tigers and lions at the Bronx zoo tested positive for COVID in April. Studies conducted by veterinarians have in cats and dogs who picked up the coronavirus from their human families. And perhaps most concerning, there have been outbreaks of mink at fur farms in multiple countries.
Scientists aren’t too surprised that the coronavirus can sometimes jump species; other (non-pandemic) coronaviruses have been known to infect dogs and other animals.
Can animals give the coronavirus to humans?
Not usually. The dogs, cats, and zoo animals who have COVID seem to have picked it up from people, not the other way around.
What happens when an animal gets the coronavirus?
Some of the animals that tested positive for COVID exhibited respiratory symptoms, like coughing and shortness of breath.
If your pet seems to be sick, consult a veterinarian for advice. Since COVID cases in animals are rare, they may not necessarily recommend a COVID test, but they can provide appropriate care and advice depending on your pet’s symptoms.
What should I do if I have a pet?
“Treat pets as you would other human family members,” the CDC advises. This means keeping them away from other people and pets that don’t live in your household. This includes keeping cats indoors and walking dogs on a leash to make sure they’re not interacting with others when they’re out of your sight.
Both the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association agree that pets don’t commonly get the coronavirus; it’s possible, they say, but rare.
If you or someone in your home is sick, keep the pet away from that person. This may mean asking someone else to feed your pet, for example. If you cannot avoid contact with your pet, the AVMA recommends wearing a mask, washing your hands before and after touching them, and not sharing food, kissing, or hugging your pet—for their own safety.