Coronavirus transmissible between domestic cats, Japan-U.S. study shows
Japan Times -- May 15
The novel coronavirus that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic can be transmitted between domestic cats, even though infected cats may not show any symptoms, according to a research team working in Tokyo and Wisconsin.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo and the University of Wisconsin-Madison published the findings online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a veterinarian and professor in the research team, recommends cat owners keep their pets indoors, as they may contract the virus without the owner being aware.

The study said that while there is no evidence of the virus being transmitted from cats to humans, it is necessary to get a better understanding of the potential role of pets in the pandemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed in April that two pet cats had been infected with the new virus, and that infections among cats have been reported in Belgium and Hong Kong as well.

The CDC said at that time there was no evidence that pets played a role in spreading the virus in the United States.

The research team took the virus from a human and infected three cats with it by putting large doses into the eyes, nostrils, mouth and trachea of the test subjects in a laboratory in the United States.

The infected cats were then each housed with an uninfected cat. Within five days, the uninfected cats tested positive for the virus via nasal swabs.

Following the positive tests, all six cats continued testing positive for about five days, according to the team.

新型コロナウイルスがネコからネコに容易に感染するとの研究が発表されました。  東京大学などの研究グループは新型コロナウイルスの患者から分離したウイルスに感染させたネコと感染していないネコを同居させる実験をしたところ、感染していないネコへの感染が確認されました。呼吸器の中でよく増殖していたということです。感染したネコにウイルスによる明らかな症状はなかったということです。研究グループは感染した患者が飼いネコに触れないことやネコを外に出さないようにしてほしいとしています。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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