Covid-19: Cat catches Delta variant from owner - showing need for virus surveillance in animals

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Tabby cat and feet of a person wearing socks with cat designs on it
Tabby cat and feet of a person wearing socks with cat designs on it
Linda Raymond

Reports of animals getting infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the beginning of the pandemic has raised concerning questions for millions of people who spend a lot of time around animals.

From gorillas, lions and pumas in zoos to minks on mink farms and domesticated animals like cats and dogs, these documented cases from around the world all came about after contact with people infected with Covid-19, including caretakers and owners.

Research to date suggests that the risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is possible, although the chances are low. It also suggests that they rarely get as sick as humans from infection.

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