No data to suggest humans can contract novel coronavirus from pets: AIIMS Director

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 13, 2020

There is no data to show that pets can transmit coronavirus to humans, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had said according to media reports.

Though coronavirus is present in both humans and pets, there is no evidence so far of humans having contracted the novel coronavirus from their pets, Guleria had said .

In the case of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the virus had been transmitted from animals to humans. However, the Covid-19 virus is now mainly a human virus accounting for primarily human-to-human transmission. The chances of humans contracting the novel coronavirus from their pets are slim, he had said as per the report.

However, according to a recent study, it is possible for pets such as cats and ferrets to contract the novel coronavirus from their owners.

The study published in the journal Science was based on a research conducted in China during the months of January and February, according to a Reuters report.

The study states that cats and ferrets are likely to be vulnerable to getting infected with the new coronavirus through humans. The virus is not likely to infect dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks according to the research.

The study was published after media reports had surfaced regarding a four-year-old female Malayan tiger, Nadia from the Bronx Zoo in New York City had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Six other big cats including lions had shown symptoms as per the report.

Researchers had then recommended pet owners tested positive for Covid-19 to quarantine themselves not only from family but also from their pets.

Published on April 13, 2020

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