Many cats were infected by the novel coronavirus, alarmingly more than previously estimated, a new study reveals.
The analysis was carried on stray cats in Wuhan, the epicenter of the ongoing pandemic.
The researchers say that none of the cats presented symptoms of the disease, but many showed neutralizing antibodies that protected them against the dangerous virus.
Individual animals can contract the virus was known for a few months, though it’s not yet known how common that happens.
The study was posted in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections.
As part of their research, scientists took blood samples from about a hundred Wuhan cats sourced from January 2020 to March 2020.
Analyzing the samples revealed that 15 of the 102 tested cats contracted the virus as it was shown by antibodies present in their blood.
Out of the 15 infected cats, it turned out that the majority of them had “neutralizing antibodies,” the type that is incredibly efficient at fighting the virus so much that they can even wholly prevent infection!
Though the cats all tested positive for antibodies showing the virus’s presence, neither manifested any apparent symptoms. Also, there were no reports about cats that had died due to the disease.
The antibodies and lack of symptoms are traces of natural protection against the virus, which unfortunately isn’t also present to the same degree in the human body.
Transmitting The Virus
The study also found evidence that some cats passed the virus to other cats, but there is no evidence that infected animals can give the virus to humans, so it’s not yet known if avoiding pet street cats is a must!