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Dogs and cats can become infected with the Alpha variant and suffer heart problems, study shows

Los perros y los gatos pueden infectarse de la variante Alfa y sufrir problemas cardíacos, según un estudio

A new study published in the journal ‘Veterinary Record’ has revealed dogs and cats can become infected with the Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first detected in the south-east of England and is commonly known as the variant. from the United Kingdom or B.1.1.7.

The study describes the first identification of the Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic animals: two cats and one dog tested positive in PCR, while two other cats and one dog showed antibodies between two and six weeks after having developed. signs of heart disease.

Many of these pet owners had developed respiratory symptoms several weeks before their pets became ill and had also tested positive for COVID-19. All of these pets had an acute onset of heart disease, including severe myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).

"Our study reports the first cases of cats and dogs affected by the Alpha variant of COVID-19 and highlights, more than ever, the risk that companion animals can become infected with SARS-CoV-2"explains lead author Luca Ferasin, from the Ralph Veterinary Reference Center in the UK.

"We also report atypical clinical manifestations characterized by severe cardiac abnormalities, which is a well-known complication in people affected by COVID-19 but has never been described in companion animals. However, COVID-19 infection in companion animals remains a relatively rare condition, and based on our observations, it appears that transmission occurs from humans to companion animals, rather than the other way around."

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