Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from Humans to Pets and Vice Versa

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  •   Zameer Shervani

  •   Intazam Khan

  •   Noha Yamin Siddiqui

  •   Tooba Khan

  •   Umair Yaqub Qazi

Abstract

Numerous studies have described human-to-human airborne and contact-based transmissions of SARS-CoV-2, the epidemiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this review article, we assess the COVID-19 reverse-zoonotic transmission from humans-to-household pets and zoonotic transmission from pets-to-humans, and animal-to-animal transmission between cohoused pets including cats, dogs, and ferrets. COVID-19 in mink, ducks, pigs, chickens, and ectoparasite of domestic pets such as cat flea are also discussed. Cats and ferrets were found highly susceptible to SARS-COV-2; dogs susceptible to a lower degree; and chickens, pigs, and ducks not susceptible. Reverse zoonotic SARS-COV-2 transmission in dogs and cats was found as confirmed by genetic analysis of virus strains isolated from pets and pet owners. Most studies show absence of clinical symptoms in infected dogs and cats. There is no evidence of zoonotic transmission of SARS-COV-2 from pets, although the possibility could not be ruled out. COVID-19 in mink farms showed both human-to-mink and subsequent mink-to-human (zoonotic) transmission raising concerns about mink becoming possible unexpected intermediate hosts of SARS-COV-2. Preventative and control measures limiting zoonotic and reverse zoonotic COVID-19 transmissions should be developed and enforced publicly to minimize virus spread. Our article is important for animal and pet management in COVID-19 pandemic. As there is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from household pets to humans, the pets must not be abandoned. To avoid virus transmission from infected households and pet-to-pet, the pets must be quarantined and isolated similar to humans. Leaving pets roaming in the community will increase the chances of virus spread. The original source of the virus is still unknown therefore, pets and animal management is necessary to stop the current and future pandemic.


Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Zoonotic COVID-19 Transmission, COVID-19 and Pets, SARS-CoV-2 in Mink

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How to Cite
Shervani, Z., Khan, I., Siddiqui, N. Y., Khan, T., & Qazi, U. Y. (2021). Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from Humans to Pets and Vice Versa. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 3(1), 34-38. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejmed.2021.3.1.684

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