Scientists in Thailand at the Prince of Songkla University reported the first human infection with coronavirus from a pet, as a father and son had symptoms of COVID-19, and accordingly they were taken to a hospital.
Subsequently their cat was transferred to the vet clinic for examination, Izvestia newspaper said.
When examining the cat and trying to take a swab from it, it sneezed in the doctor’s face, and the test result showed that the cat had been infection with coronavirus.
A week after this incident, the doctor showed symptoms of COVID-19.
It was confirmed that the infection was transmitted to the veterinarian from the cat, because there are no people infected with coronavirus among his family members, relatives, or work colleagues.
The genomic sequence confirmed that the cat, its owners and the veterinarian were all infected with the same strain of COVID-19, which was prevalent among the population at this period.
Accordingly scientists realized that the cat, its owners and the vet were infected from the same source.
Scientists have indicated that the risk of infectious transmission from animals to humans is still minimal, but they are not ruling it out.
“Based on the information available to date, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from animals to humans, including pets, is considered low,” said Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC official who works on human-animal health connections.
The American Centers for Disease Control recommended that pets should be treated in the same way as an infected person in order to protect them from infection with coronavirus.
People infected with the coronavirus should also avoid contact with their pets, meaning not to kiss animals or sleep in the same bed, and someone else should take care of the pets, according to the CDC.