Published On: Wed, Apr 8th, 2020

Cat warning: Pets included in UK coronavirus lockdown over concerns of fur contamination

Pet owners across Britain have been urged to keep their pet cats indoors for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. The British Veterinary Association maintained owners should not be concerned about pet-to-human contagion but advised to keep cats inside to ensure their fur does not get contaminated. BBC Science correspondent Victoria Gill told the Today programme: “The British Veterinary Association stressed that owners should not worry about their pets infecting them.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have initially spread from animals to humans at a food market in Wuhan, China, but there is no currently any strong evidence that pets can pass it on to people.

Human-to-human transmission has continued to remain the main agent of infection, either through the inhalation of airborne droplets passed on when people breathe or cough, or by touching something that has infected droplets on it, and then touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

An ongoing study in Germany is aiming to find out the various ways in which COVID-19 could potentially be spread – including by animals in an indirect way, such as by stroking a pet that has infected droplets on its fur.

The investigation was launched last Tuesday morning and will study 1,000 residents in the German town of Heinsberg.

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