By World Healthcare Journal-
Household pets such as cats and dogs may require vaccination against Covid-19 in order to curb the spread of the virus and prevent further mutations, scientists say.
The warning comes from experts at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich-based research facility the Earlham Institute and the University of Minnesota.
The coronavirus has already been proven to infect cats, dogs, and minks, the latter of which prompted a rushed cull in Denmark where millions were infected.
In an editorial piece for the scientific journal, Virulence, the experts warned that continued evolution of the virus in animals poses a “significant long-term risk” to humans.
"It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might be necessary to curb the spread of the infection," the piece reads.
However, it is not known yet whether the virus can be transferred back to humans from animals, which one of the authors of the editorial, Cock Van Oosterhout, detailed.
“It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk,” he said.
“What we need to be as a human society, we really need to be prepared for any eventuality when it comes to Covid."
“I think the best way to do this is indeed consider development of vaccines for animals as well. ”
“Interestingly the Russians have already started to develop a vaccine for pets, which there’s very little information about. ”
Kevin Tyler, editor-in-chief of Virulence, also explained the risk that Covid poses to not only pets, but humans too.
"Cats are asymptomatic but they are infected by it and they can infect humans with it,”
"The risk is that, as long as there are these reservoirs, that it starts to pass as it did in the mink from animal to animal, and then starts to evolve animal-specific strains, but then they spill back into the human population and you end up essentially with a new virus which is related which causes the whole thing all over again."
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