Can your pet catch coronavirus? Here's what experts say
Can your beloved cat or dog give you coronavirus?
Experts agree, almost definitely not.
Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that samples from the dog's nasal and oral cavities had tested "weak positive" for novel coronavirus. It was believed to be the first time that a dog anywhere in the world tested positive for the virus.
The dog - which had no symptoms - was put into quarantine and will be repeatedly tested until the result comes back negative, according to the statement. The department "strongly advises" that pets of people infected with coronavirus are quarantined for 14 days.
Despite this, the AFCD and the World Health Organization both agree there is no evidence that pets such as cats or dogs can be infected with coronavirus.
That's because while dogs can test positive for the virus, it doesn't necessarily mean they have been infected.
Is it worth quarantining pets?
According to Gray, who was working in Hong Kong during SARS, there is still value in quarantining pets from a scientific perspective, because it allows scientists to observe how an animal relates to a disease we still know relatively little about.
"Whilst it seems a bit scary, it's purely a precautionary measure, and it's certainly nothing for pet owners in general to be concerned about," said Gray.
Some pet owners in mainland China have been fitting their dogs with tiny face masks, but Gray said there is no benefit to that -- in fact, it's probably fairly distressing for the pet and could cause them to panic.
Instead, pet owners should stick to the basics: good hygiene.
Both WHO and Gray said owners should wash their hands with soap and water after touching pets.
"I am certainly not in any concern of my dog or cats, I'm far more concerned about myself catching it from a human being that has the disease," said Gray, who is a pet owner herself.
People are buying dog masks due to the coronavirus in China
- According to China's top expert, pets might be infected by the new virus
- Sales volume of dog-specific masks is increasing in China due to the coronavirus
- Online ecoomerce shops are selling 10 times more masks daily
- Death toll of the disease has reached to at least 180 in China
- There are now more than 9,200 people confirmed to have been infected globally
Chinese pet owners are rushing to buy face masks for their dogs amid the coronavirus outbreak to prevent their loved ones from catching the deadly disease.
The news comes after China's top expert for infectious diseases warned that pets might also be infected by the coronavirus, which has so far spread to 21 countries and regions and sickened more than 7,900 people.
The World Health Organization, however, claims that it has not seen any evidence of the virus being passed onto cats or dogs.
What will life be after coronavirus pandemic? The answer to this question is in Wuhan
Four months after the first cases of coronavirus were recorded and three months after total quarantine was declared in Wuhan, the Chinese authorities changed the status of the city from closed to open to the public. However, the metropolis, apparently, it will take more time for the city to return to normal life - consumer activity is at zero, and there will probably be no foreign investors for several more years.
In Wuhan, a Chinese metropolis with a population of 12 million people, where coronavirus cases were first recorded in December 2019, quarantine is officially canceled on Wednesday, April 8. Trains will start to run from the city and it will be possible to fly by plane, intercity automobile communication will be restored. But this will not mean a return to normal, Bloomberg reports.
Despite the fact that now the number of new infections per day does not exceed 30 compared to several thousand in February, the shock from the epidemic still persists, and the fear of the second wave does not allow businesses to resume work at “pre-virus” levels. Fears are fueled by the fact that cases of infection in people who do not have symptoms of the disease are still being detected in the city. It is such asymptomatic cases that played a huge role in the spread of the epidemic. “Silent carriers,” up to a third of those whose tests tested positive for coronavirus, wrote the South China Morning Post in late March, citing Chinese government data. At the same time, Chinese doctors claim that an asymptomatic patient can infect a maximum of one person.
"Before and after"
Wuhan is the center of one of the most important industrial regions of China, Hubei Province. Before the outbreak, the provincial GDP was expected to grow by 7.5–7.8% in 2020. The city’s attractiveness for doing business has grown rapidly - according to the report of the Milken Institute for 2019, Wuhan ranked 9th in terms of aggregate economic indicators among all Chinese cities, rising seven lines in a year. Business in the city ranged from biomedicine and chip manufacturing to auto parts. Coronavirus delivered a painful blow to all of this.
In February alone, Hubei’s domestic regional product fell by at least 50%, and budget lost about $ 1 billion, estimates Chen Bo, an economics professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan.
Shopping centers in Wuhan reopened, but they are mostly empty, most people are still too scared to go shopping for non-essential items. “I'm happy if no one comes in,” admits sales assistant at Calvin Klein's store at Wuhan International Plaza. “It's safer.” Typically, customers left 20,000 yuan (about $ 3,000) in the store over the weekend, and there were only two purchases in the week that passed since the store opened after the outbreak on March 30.
Such sentiments are ubiquitous. For example, in order to maintain a distance between sellers in shops and buyers, real walls are build in the city - 2 meters in height.
The movement of residents remains under tight control, and officials are on high alert for an outbreak. The Chinese government tracks residents through QR codes embedded in Alipay payment system and Wechat social network. Each application user automatically receives their health status at midnight - green, yellow or red - depending on their location, basic health information and travel history. Only those with a green code can leave their apartments and go to work. It is easy to lose the color of the code necessary for movement: it is enough to visit a shopping center, where later a case of infection with coronavirus will be revealed — then the green color turns yellow and implies self-isolation of the house.
Xiaomi Corp. employees who return to work are instructed not to enter the office elevator for more than five people each. At the same time, you can only stand in the elevator in accordance with special marks on the floor.
Five-star hotels are up and running again, but the buffet has been reduced to a few basic dishes, packed in individual disposable containers.
Li Jing, 33, who provides visitors with apartments, admits that Wuhan is now “clearly not the place people choose to visit first.” To lure guests, before each check-in, Lee will carry out a three-hour disinfection and expand the menu of services for guests. However, he admits that his apartments may be vacant for several weeks and even months.
Investors will not come
Officially, the plants in Wuhan can already resume work, but people are not in a hurry to return to jobs, and the supply chain must now be reorganized. One of the largest factories in Wuhan is the joint production of Peugeot cars by the PSA Group and the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Group. Machine assembly has resumed, but employees indicate that supply chains are intermittent. According to one of the plant’s managers, Mei Yunfeng, many of the company's suppliers have not yet returned to the same level as business as ussual.
“The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic destroyed Wuhan’s plans to integrate more tightly into the global supply chain,” said Professor Chen from Huazhong University. The implications for tourism and foreign investment will continue for a long time. Chen points out that after the outbreak of SARS in 2003, foreign direct investment in Guangdong, where the epidemic began, stopped for two to three years. “The same thing will happen to Wuhan,” he is pessimistic. “Investors will be careful, fearing new outbreaks of the disease, in addition, it will seem to them that the city is poorly managed.”
A collection of 5 fascinating facts about the 1918 Flu Pandemic.
(1)Five hundred million people, in other words the third part of the entire world's population, were infected and fell ill.
The "Spanish" influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, which caused approximately 50 million deaths worldwide, remains an ominous warning to public health. The disease was exceptionally severe.
(2) The president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson that time, caught the flu— and so did future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Wilson felt bad during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he was negotiating the future path for the world after World War I. If he'd died during this times, it would have dramatically changed the future of many states. Wilson's daughter Margaret and much of his staff also got sick. Roosevelt — then the assistant secretary of the Navy — was infected while on a voyage to France aboard the USS Leviathan. Roosevelt survived the flu after being returned home to the States.
(3) The pandemic came to be known as the "Spanish flu," but it didn't actually start in Spain.
When the flu first hit Europe in early 1918, it spread throughout military camps on both sides of World War I. Even if it was going fast, governments involved in the war kept it a secret because they feared that acknowledging their troops were sick could help the enemy.
That's where Spain highlighted. Since it was a neutral country, it had no need to keep secrets when its people got sick, so the Spanish government and media reported what was happening.
(4)No one actually knows where the virus started. For decades, scientists have debated where in the world the pandemic started, variously pinpointing its origins in France, China, the American Midwest, and beyond. The Spanish flu reached its height in autumn 1918 but raged until 1920.
(5)People who catched the flu felt severe fatigue, fever, and headaches. Many also suffered from a cough so severe they would turn blue, tear abdominal muscles from coughing, and bleed from the mouth, nose, and sometimes ears.
The disease, which came to be known as the Spanish flu, hit the young and healthy, with many victims dying within hours or a couple days after the symptoms began.
At what temperature does the coronavirus die?
The first dates according to TASS, a study by Hong Kong researchers shows that the ideal temperature for the development and spread of the new coronavirus is 4 degrees Celsius, under these conditions it can withstand the most. However, at 22 degrees, the new coronavirus remains active for one week, while at 37 degrees, the virus becomes inactive within two days. At 70 degrees Celsius, the virus dies in less than five minutes.
The recent dates are established by scientists from France who published a report indicating the temperature at which the coronavirus dies. As it turned out, inactivation is possible only at 92 ° C, subject to exposure for 15 minutes.
Initially, it was assumed that heating to 60 ° C for an hour would be sufficient. However, during the study it turned out: with this effect, the activity of the virus decreases by 6 times, but some strains still survive.
Evaluation of heating and chemical protocols for inactivating coronavirus scientists published on bioRXV portal in the form of a preliminary report (the so-called preprint). The conclusions made are for informational purposes only and require additional checks.
Earlier, other studies showed that different types of coronaviruses can live in the refrigerator for up to 9 days, and in the freezer they can exist for years.
Global Coronavirus deaths reaches a new record of 20,000
As of today, the 25th of March the coronavirus has killed more than 20,912 people worldwide and the majority of them are from Europe, reaching a number of 13,582 people, according to AFP.
The number of cases infected with coronavirus passed 463,408, while 113,802 have recovered. More than 328,704 patients are in mild conditions and 14,379 are in either serious or critical condition.
Italy is the most affected country with over 7,503 death followed by Spain with 3,434 deaths and China, with 3,281.
As more countries are faced with complete lockdown, US Senate leader have agreed a $2 trillion stimulus package with the White House.
India is now on a lockdown for 21 days, with more than 1.3 million people on quarantine. Narendra Modi, the prime minister, told Indians that he was banning people from leaving their homes in order to save the country, all the citizens and their family. He also stressed that if after 21 days the situation will not stop or improve then the country’s development risked being set back 21 years.
New Zealand has declared State of National Emergency after reporting more than 200 cases of coronavirus. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, called on every citizen to ‘act like you have Covid-19’ and warned that those violating compulsory stay-at-home rules would face “no tolerance”.
As of today, there are more than three billion people living under lockdown measures in order to stop spreading the coronavirus, which the United Nations warned that is threatening all of humanity.
“Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.
“Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.”