Researchers at Utrecht University’s department of veterinary medicine will soon start a project to look into how sensitive cats are to coronavirus. The research will focus on the cats of healthcare workers who have tested positive for Covid-19, researcher Els Broens told NOS radio.
However, Broens said she did not think cats contribute to spreading the virus. ‘Transmission between humans is most important, and cats play a negligible role,’ she told the broadcaster.
The research is being carried on on behalf of farm minister Carola Schouten who wants to know if a sick person can infect a cat, or if the virus spreads from cat to cat, NOS said.
On Sunday the ministry confirmed that Covid-19 had been found in mink at two separate fur farms in Noord-Brabant. Schouten is also commissioning research into transmission of the virus in pigs.
The public health institute RIVM also says the chance of being infected by a pet is minute, but says people who show symptoms should not cuddle their pets or be licked by them. They should also ask someone else to take their dogs for a walk, the RIVM said.
There have been a few other reported cases of coronavirus in animals, including a tiger in New York and two cats in Hong Kong.
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