Wednesday, April 8, 2020

cats and dogs can catch and transmit coronavirus?

My dreams last night pointed me straight at Key West. On waking around 7 a.m., I looked at my I-phone and saw two missed calls from my homeless lady friend, who thinks she is a cat. She is holed up with a homeless amigo in a Florida City motel. She said a Key West homeless amigo, who stays nights in the city's homeless shelter, told her yesterday on the telephone that KOTS started making its clients wear face masks and gloves, and clients who didn't go along with it were made to leave. KOTS is located near the sheriff's headquarters and jail on Stock Island, the key above Key West. The city's proposed new homeless shelter estimated to cost $1 million, never got built. The city's new ASPCA shelter cost $8.4 million.

I called my Key West friend, Mr. Magoo, and reported what Catwoman had told me. Mr. Magoo and I wondered out loud where homeless people kicked out of KOTS sleep at night? What if they catch the coronavirus? Will they be quarantined? If so, where? What if a KOTS client already has the virus? In those tight quarters, the virus will spread quickly to other KOTS clients, who will vector the virus all over Key West. Will infected KOTS clients be quarantined? If so, where? Are local officials trying to work out deals with the closed hotels and motels to quarantine infected homeless people and other infected residents? 

And, what about the county jail? Are are city police and sheriff deputies still jailing homeless people for minor offenses? What if city police or sheriff deputies jail infected homeless people? The jail is a much larger incubator than KOTS. Will the sheriff let it be known that the virus got into his jail? Will he be able to quarantine infected inmates? Will infected inmates, with or with symptoms, be released from the jail? I reminded Mr. Magoo of when Catwoman was in the jail and had scabies and the jail infirmary would not treat her. Scabies is highly infectious. Tiny mites that spread all over and burrow into the skin and make you itch like crazy. I know, because I caught scabies from Catwoman.

When I said the coronavirus was made in China and that giant elephant in the living room needs to be addressed in America and world wide, Mr. MaGoo said perhaps China made the virus, but there is a much bigger elephant. Had I heard about two New York zoo tigers infected with coronavirus? I said I had read that online. 

Mr. Magoo said, in 1918, a pig in the American midwest had a virus. A soldier caught the virus from the pig and was deployed to Belgium. (This was during World War I.) The soldiers outfit was next to a pig farm. A pig caught the virus from the soldier. The virus mutated and was transmitted to people and a whole lot of people died. 

Mr. Magoo said the first tiger caught the virus from someone in the zoo who takes care of the tigers. Then, a second tiger was infected. What if dogs can catch the virus? The virus mutates, and dogs give the mutation to people?

I said, a tiger is a cat. How many domestic cats are there in Key West and the Florida Keys? In America? In the world? This is a Stephen King novel. Cat lovers and ASPCA ain't gonna like that!

Later, I thought cats are a female symbol. Did Mother Nature send mankind a message?

I googled "tigers catch coronavirus" and this article came up near the top: › pets-cats-tigers-bronx-zoo-covid-19-coronavir.

Tigers (and other cats) can catch the coronavirus

What cat-adoring people should know

By Justine Calma@justcalma  

When I heard that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19, I started to worry about my own little lion, a tabby cat with asthma. I’ve sequestered myself away from friends and family, but could my company be unwittingly putting my cat at risk? While there have been some cases of animals contracting COVID-19, it’s rare — and there are precautions that pet owners can take if they’re worried about their furry family members.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means that they can be passed between animals and humans. In New York City, the virus apparently jumped from an asymptomatic human to three lions and four tigers, including four-year-old tiger Nadia, that tested positive for the virus. The zoo says it expects all of the animals to make full recoveries.
Scientists still don’t know for sure what type of animal first passed the new virus to a person. A wet market, where animals, seafood, and produce are sold, in China was thought to be where the novel coronavirus first made the jump. But a January study found the first person known to get sick from the virus didn’t have contact with the market. Another study found that the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus infecting people was a 99 percent genetic match with one found in pangolins, one of the most trafficked mammals in Asia, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The pangolins might have been an intermediary carrying the virus from bats to humans. Another analysis found that the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus is 96 percent identical to a coronavirus found in bats, which have been identified as the origin of both SARS and MERS.
Even though the virus kicked off a pandemic by being passed from one species to another, it’s not often that coronaviruses make this kind of interspecies jump and continue spreading, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There has been no evidence of a pet anywhere in the world transmitting COVID-19 to a person, according to the World Health Organization. The outbreaks happening now are the result of people passing the virus to one another. Despite that, some animal advocacy groups are worried that misguided fear of COVID-19 patients’ pets could lead to more animals abandoned and mistreated.
There have been a few cases of domestic cats and dogs testing positive for the virus after their owners became sick with COVID-19. A 17-year-old Pomeranian in Hong Kong tested “weakly positive” in February and died in March, but the dog might have simply died of old age, according to reporting from the South China Morning Post. A two-year-old German shepherd in Hong Kong tested positive after its owner came down with the disease, while another dog that lived in the same home didn’t. A cat in Hong Kong and another cat in Belgium have also tested positive. The cat in Belgium “showed clinical signs of digestive and respiratory disease,” according to information from the National Veterinary Services of Belgium.
Cats might be more susceptible to COVID-19 than dogs, according to one study conducted in China that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed. Domestic cats that had been infected with the virus by introducing samples of it through their noses were placed in kennels next to cats that were not infected. The researchers later found that one of the previously healthy cats caught the virus after being near the infected felines, most likely through respiratory droplets — the same way humans can spread the virus through coughing and sneezing. Dogs in the study, on the other hand, seemed to be more resistant to the virus and did not pass it to one another. There was no evidence that the cats shed enough of the virus to give it to people.
Those results should be taken with a grain of salt since it was a small study of animals given high doses of the virus. They don’t “represent real-life interactions between people and their pets,” virologist Linda Saif at Ohio State University in Wooster told Nature.
If you develop COVID-19, the CDC recommends avoiding cuddles, kisses, sharing food, and having other close contact with your pet to avoid passing the disease on to them. Ask someone else in your household to take care of your pet if that’s possible, and wash your hands before and after touching your pet if it’s a service animal or if you do have to care for it while you’re sick. The same guidelines apply if you think you might be sick but haven’t been tested or are waiting for results. Wearing a mask around your pet is also appropriate if you’re ill, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Because the novel coronavirus can survive for some time on different surfaces, there is a slight chance that our furry friends could carry the virus even though they’re not infected. But the only study to date of how long the virus can persist on surfaces looked at plastic, metal, and cardboard — not animal fur. It’s usually harder for a virus to survive and spread to another person via a porous surface, like hair or fur, because it’s more likely to get trapped in the pores of the material, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The CDC points out that any animal can carry germs that might make a person sick, so whether there’s a pandemic or not, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after handling any animal, its food, or waste.
The bottom line is that we’ll probably need to take similar precautions with our pets as we do with our human loved ones. That means keeping a safe distance when necessary so that we can all stay healthy.

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