Social distancing can reduce human, zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Study – Times of India

Last Updated on November 20, 2020 by

Chandigarh: It is still not certain whether humans can transmit Covid-19 infection to animals. Also there is no literature to show transmission from infected animals to humans. However, some cats have tested positive for Covid-19.
A review study from the PGI, however, recommends social distancing that needs to be maintained with animals as with humans. By doing so one can reduce human as well as zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, researchers have suggested in the review paper.
They have found that there is no literature proving transmission of the virus from infected pets to their owners. The study has been published by Drs Rubal Singla, Abhishek Mishra, Rupa Joshi Sonali Jha, Amit Raj Sharma Sujata Upadhyay Phulen Sarma, Ajay Prakash, and Bikash Medhi from the PGIMER; NIPER, Mohali; and Panjab University.
There have been various cases of human to animal transmission indicating the risk of virus to domestic animals or pets. The literature has further revealed that cats and ferrets are susceptible to Covid-19 infection. The study inferred that these infected animals could efficiently spread the virus to naive animals directly in contact with them.
There have been evidences that suggested that bats are the primary reservoirs of novel coronavirus and, thus, the major source of infection to humans. Since the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence in humans and pangolin has shown significant relatedness, these animals are suspected to be the intermediate host for this infection. “However, there has been no evidence of transmission of Covid-19 from human to animals. But how an animal virus crossed the species boundaries to infect human species , needs lot of studies to discover the precise routes of transmission?” said one of the researchers.
Research experts have found that the likelihood of humans contracting Covid-19 from their pets is low. Also according to the international reports, there is no evidence for transmission of the novel coronavirus from companion animals to humans. The major route of transmission appears to be from person-to- person by contact with saliva or other bodily secretions like cough or sneeze.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also advised people to take general precautions while visiting live animal markets, animal product markets or wet markets because there is still uncertainty about the exact origin of this virus.
Precautions to be taken
Wash hands regularly with soap and potable water after any contact with animals or their products as well as avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth after contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products
Avoid any contact with animal waste or fluids on the soil or any other surfaces
Any contact with stray animals such as dogs, cats, birds, rodents living in the streets to be completely restricted
Even though no research-based evidence has proven the spread of this virus due to intake of seafood, chicken, or mutton, still the intake of any raw or uncooked milk, meat, or any kind of animal organs should be avoided as per the general good food safety practices


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