Tigers and Cats Infected with COVID-19 | Zhou Jinfeng Talked at Round Table Panel: Need to Strengthen the Management of Common Health and Zoonosis (II)
2020/5/4 17:24:00 本站

In the prevention and control of animal epidemics, priority should be given to the comprehensive measures of “biosafety”.


Cover News: Is it possible for domestic animals to become intermediate hosts?


Li Gang: viral infection refers to the colonization and proliferation of viruses in animals or human bodies and the generation of pathological reactions (such as inflammation or immune reactions). The source of infection is the human and animal that pathogen grows and propagates in a human or animal body and can be excluded from the body. It should be noted that the infected animals are not necessarily the source of infection.


Zhou Jinfeng: at present, there are many host species that COVID-19 can live in. It is really hard to find intermediate hosts. However, we don’t think cats are likely to be intermediate hosts. Because cats live with human beings for a long time, if cats have COVID-19, the outbreak will not break out at this time.


Cover News: some people think that if COVID-19 exists in some animal groups and can be spread, the vaccine will be the most effective way to control the epidemic. What do you think?


Zhou Jinfeng: actually, there are many similar cases. For example, rabies is controlled through vaccines and effective management. Now it seems that COVID-19 is different from SARS. According to its boarding in animals and its spread among animals, it has a very strong survival ability. In the end, humans and this virus may have to live together for a long time. In this case, the best way is the vaccine and effective management. We are also doing a lot of work recently, for example, studying how to use the information system of rabies prevention and control for reference to COVID-19. In the future, we should strengthen the management of common health and zoonoses.


Li Gang: to stop the spread of infectious diseases is to cut off the three links of the occurrence of infectious diseases - namely, to control the source of infection, to cut off the route of transmission, and to protect susceptible animals. Susceptible animals can be made non-susceptible by vaccination. However, we need to be aware that there are risks in animal vaccines. The genome of COVID-19 provides gene bank function, which may make the prevalence of COVID-19 complex, long-term, and cyclical. Moreover, it usually takes at least two to three years to develop a vaccine. For the prevention and control of animal diseases, we should give priority to the comprehensive prevention and control measures focusing on “biological safety”. In order to protect susceptible animals effectively and timely, we should focus on controlling the source of infection and cutting off the route of transmission.


Do Not Abandon Pets


Cover News: at present, there are still many unclear things about COVID-19. How should humans get along with animals?


Li Gang: I always think pets should be treated as family members and human friends. During the epidemic, we should get along with dogs and cats according to the protection standards between people. There are two situations to deal with. We should strengthen the management of stray cats and dogs and try to stay away from these animals. For domestic pets, the owner should keep good hygiene habits, such as washing hands first after going home, and then touching pets; people and pets should not be in too close contact, should maintain a certain distance; use medical-alcohol and hand sanitizer to wash hands after touching pets; minimize and avoid the opportunity for pets to go out; in case of the abnormal health condition of pets, please see a doctor in time. Most of all, do not abandon pets.


Zhou Jinfeng: we should have a correct understanding of some current research results, and do not overreact. At the same time, we should have empathy. During the period of epidemic prevention and control, people should protect their pets as well as protect themselves. For example, keep a certain distance from pets, just like keep a distance between people, we should also pay attention to keep a “safe distance” between pets. In addition, through this epidemic, we need to adjust the relationship between people and animals, between people and nature; we need to reexamine some problems in our daily life and management. For instance, the management of stray animals is not only an old topic but also a new one; also, for wild animals, our attitude should be to let them return to nature and minimize interference and improper contact with them.

Original Chinese article:


By / Xue Tongtong Modified / Maggie