Cats and dogs have not played a significant role in coronavirus spread
Cats and dogs have so far played no significant role in the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands during the pandemic, according to researchers from Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research Center, and Erasmus Medical Center. "The epidemic would not have been substantially different without infections in dogs and cats," said Arjan Stegeman, project leader and professor at Utrecht University.
It was already known that cats and dogs could become infected with the coronavirus. The study was created to determine whether this helped the virus to circulate further. Data showed that the number of infections in humans increased with the number of cats in the environment and therefore cats seemed to be a carrier. However, cat-to-human infection was not demonstrated in this study. No such correlation was witnessed in households with dogs.
Although the virus is often transmitted to animals by people with whom they come into contact, it apparently cannot survive separately from humans in the cat and dog world.
It is still recommended to keep infected people away from cats and dogs, Stegeman advised. “Cats often show no symptoms after infection, but they can transmit the infection to other cats and introduce a contagious virus into the environment."
In principle, the same applies to dogs, but they are allowed to go outside for short periods of time on a leash.
Reporting by ANP