The exclusive sin of pet owners

Pet virus Genetic transmission of the deadly crypto virus CoVID-19, the latest strain of the parasite most commonly seen in dogs, is most likely to occur in household pets in and around their owners,…

The exclusive sin of pet owners

Pet virus

Genetic transmission of the deadly crypto virus CoVID-19, the latest strain of the parasite most commonly seen in dogs, is most likely to occur in household pets in and around their owners, say scientists at Georgetown University, Kiel University, and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

The CoVID-19 version is adapted from samples of live dogs that have died from the virus or stopped responding to treatment with anti-cephalosporid drugs. Results from an interim genomic analysis suggest the virus might, in fact, have been passed on orally, rather than from an infected dog to a house pet.

However, because it is unclear whether the boisterous dog that bit the infected household pet was going to bite its own owner first or just the friend next door, or whether the dog that bit the outside pet was infected with CoVID-19, the researchers cannot prove for certain that its oral transmission has happened.

The effect

The annual number of reported cases of human disease caused by incidences of CoVID-19 is higher than any other West African infectious disease. More than 100 illnesses or deaths have been reported from homes in the northern half of the country in the past two decades. In the last decade, 42 deaths of people infected with the CoVID-19 strain have been documented. Most deaths have been reported in rural communities, but increased reporting and surveillance of cases in the south suggest that CoVID-19 could be a widespread problem.

Viruses are genetically close to humans. Through genetic copying and substituting, viruses can invade, change, or escape from the bodies of their human hosts. It may seem a strange occurrence, but certain viruses can actually be transmitted orally — that is, it doesn’t have to be excreted.

Doctors use about a dozen different tests to detect COVID-19 from fecal or urine samples. But they may miss all but a small number of cases, especially in areas with poor monitoring systems or few human-animal contacts. A paper published last year suggested that tests were only a good guide for “all patients with protein antibodies” who had been infected and who showed no sign of swelling, gills, or a characteristic dark discharge. But, the paper cautioned, these antibodies may be weak.

A clinical report published this July included an estimated number of deceased dogs exposed to CoVID-19 in seven different West African countries. It said that roughly seven percent of dogs had subclinical indicators — pus-like material — suggesting that some of the dogs had spread the disease to humans. Since fecal or urine samples do not often provide a complete picture of exposure, it is not known how many dogs died or what caused their deaths. In fact, the authors had little to go on except for signs of infectious disease — such as tears in dog eyes, dead and pale dogs, and dog diarrhea that contained white and purple sores.

Dr. Kelly Neel, an emergency room physician in Cleveland, who describes herself as an expert on cat-virus symptoms and has provided advice to many affected animal owners, has written a book called “how-to” on how to diagnose and treat cat-virus-related conditions. She said that she believes that there are also still cases that don’t get reported or are misdiagnosed. But, she added, because dogs and cats can bite each other, there may be more cases in human households.

CoVID-19 infects both cats and dogs. Those in households where cats and dogs are playing together are believed to be especially vulnerable to the parasite. Unlike humans, however, dogs aren’t immunized against COVID-19. And to date, canine-virus disease hasn’t transferred to cats — mainly because cats don’t have antibodies to the virus.

Pet owners can fight back

Genetic transmission of the deadly crypto virus CoVID-19, the latest strain of the parasite most commonly seen in dogs, is most likely to occur in household pets in and around their owners, say scientists at Georgetown University, Kiel University, and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. The CoVID-19 version is adapted from samples of live dogs that have died from the virus or stopped responding to treatment with anti-cephalosporid drugs. Results from an interim genomic analysis suggest the virus might, in fact, have been passed on orally, rather than from an infected dog to a house pet.

While we can’t know for sure how the CoVID-19 strain reached human populations in West Africa, it is possible that the pathogens lurked in remote areas until local populations started dumping water contaminated with human faeces. Animal owners, especially those with pets who travel to poorer communities with

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