Chicago’s top doctor says it’s ‘unlikely we’ll ever eradicate’ COVID when animals can get virus – NBC Chicago

As long as pets and other animals can contract COVID-19, the virus will likely never be completely eradicated, Chicago’s top doctor said Tuesday.

“To me, the worry of seeing COVID not just in dogs and cats but in animals in general, that tells us that there is what we call an ‘animal reservoir for COVID-19’ and that means that that’s one of the most important things that makes it very unlikely that we’ll completely eradicate – let’s get rid of COVID. Because as long as there are animals capable of having it, there are, you know, it remains a risk,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live event.

So, could there ever be a vaccine specifically for animals?

“Yeah, there could be,” Arwady said.

However, she explained that health officials would like to see that COVID-19 infections were “severe” in animals or that pets played a significant role in causing severe illness in humans.

“One of the reasons we have rabies vaccines is because rabies is a really deadly human disease and can be a problem there,” Arwady said.

Some animals have already been vaccinated against COVID, Arwady noted, although most of those cases have occurred in zoos.

For dogs and cats, Arwady said there is no routine coronavirus vaccination recommended at this time, and she does not expect there to be one.

According to Centers for Disaster Control and Preventionalthough it is possible for animals to contract COVID from humans, there is little chance that animals will transmit the virus to humans.

Most animals infected with the coronavirus had close contact with people with COVID, such as pet owners and caretakers, the CDC said online.

Reports of animals infected with COVID have been documented around the world, particularly in pets, zoo animals, mink on mink farms, and wild whitetail deer in the United States.

Although animals are capable of contracting and spreading COVID, health officials have said more studies are needed to find out if and how different animals are affected.

Based on current research, the CDC said there is no evidence that animals play a “significant role” in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. To animals.

“Some coronaviruses that infect animals can spread to people and then spread between people, but that’s rare. That’s what happened with SARS-CoV-2, which likely originated in bats” , the CDC website said.

Like humans, some animals with COVID are asymptomatic, though others may show mild signs of respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, health officials noted. Here are the possible symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • To sneeze
  • Runny nose
  • Eye discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Health officials have advised people with COVID to quarantine themselves away from animals when infected with the virus.

“If you test positive for COVID-19 and you have a pet, please try to avoid close contact with your pet.” Arwady warned. “Don’t be, you know, hugging and getting closer to your pet while you’re positive for COVID.”

However, because the risk of pets transmitting the virus to humans is low, health officials have said necessary veterinary care for COVID-positive animals should not be denied.

Additionally, service animals must be allowed to stay with their handlers despite testing positive for COVID, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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