Dogs infected with COVID-19 are detected in Mérida

Photo: (Yucatán a la mano)

Mérida, Yucatán, (July 08, 2021).- Through clinical tests, and blood and nasopharyngeal samples, dogs were found positive for Covid-19 in Mérida, Yucatan; this was revealed by the Cinvestav research professor, David Hernández Mena.

“Covid can infect pets after being in contact with a sick person, the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in some of these animals,” he said.

Hernández Mena explained that the sample was collected from 80 pets (74 dogs and six cats), from 51 Merida homes, all with prior authorization from their owners.

“The results yielded three positive dogs, which showed clinical signs of disease, including respiratory and gastrointestinal signs, and they are apparently, the most susceptible species to SARS-CoV-2,” he pointed out.

Dogs do not infect humans

He mentioned that, although humans can infect dogs and cats, the research revealed that companion animals do not have the ability to transmit the virus to humans, but they can infect other dogs or cats through secretion droplets.

On the way in which pets are infected, the specialist indicated that it is through direct contact between human and pet, in addition to having erroneous hygiene and sanitation measures.

It is important to bear in mind that when a person isolates himself because he is infected with Covid, that isolation must include the pets that are at home since they are also susceptible to get infected, he pointed out.

Prevention measures

Some prevention measures that should be taken into account when having infected pets are:

  • Reduce contact with the infected pet.
  • Have extreme hygiene.
  • Conduct a quarantine by keeping them at home without contact with other pets.

This information was released at the conference “Detection of SARS-Cov-2 in domestic animals”, as part of the activities of the Zoonosis and Public Health Forum, carried out by the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) and the City Council of Merida

It should be noted that researchers from Cinvestav and the Center for Regional Studies “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi ”from the UADY, continue with the detection of new cases, as well as studying the clinical picture in dogs and investigating whether drug treatments work in pets, in addition to sequencing to verify which variant is the one that has infected the dogs.