New study says pets can be infected with Alpha variant of COVID-19

Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 11:35 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new study reveals that some pets can be infected with the Alpha variant of COVID-19.

In late 2020, a veterinary cardiologist in England started noticing an uptick in patients with symptoms of myocarditis, or heart inflammation. 

The cardiologist later found that many of those pets’ owners had either tested positive for COVID, or had symptoms of the disease within three to six weeks of their pets becoming ill. 

That prompted researchers to test the animals for the Alpha variant, which originated in the United Kingdom and was prevalent in the area.

Of 11 animals, two cats and one dog tested positive for the variant, while two more cats and another dog tested positive for COVID antibodies.

The remaining five pets tested negative for both antibodies and the virus.

The study was published in a journal called Veterinary Record.

While the results are a first, researchers still can’t say whether dogs and cats may develop typical COVID symptoms in other cases of infection.

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