We’ve been dealing with this novel strain of coronavirus, on a global level, for just about a year now – even though these 12 months have certainly felt more like 12 years on account of the solitude and lonesome nature of this pandemic.
Being that this is the first time that we’ve dealt with this particular strain, scientists and medical experts spent much of the early stages of the global crisis trying to unlock the secrets of COVID-19. There were enormous questions out there that we didn’t have the answers to for quite some time, including what the most volatile method of spreading the disease was, or if there were certain underlying conditions that made the illness more difficult for some people.
The jury also seemed to be out on whether or not our pets could contract or spread the disease.
Now, as research into COVID-19 continues, a peculiar find has occurred in the feline world.
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Scientists at Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU) have taken to studying the progression of the coronavirus in cats, after it was discovered that not a single cat in the country has tested positive despite several possessing antibodies, Latvian Television, the state broadcaster, reported last week.
Cats are one of the most popular pets for humans, and often live closely with them. This is especially true in Latvia, which has Europe’s second highest percentage of cats ownership per household per capita.
The study was incredible.
This prompted LLU researchers to test 130 different cats, some at animal shelters and some from homes where people tested positive for COVID-19. Based on their findings, cats have not only caught and overcome the virus, but have even developed a way to fight it off.
The findings support a Live Science report released last spring which found that a cat in Belgium tested positive for COVID-19, but was fully recovered in just nine days.
“Cats are likely to spread this virus very briefly, because even in cases where contact with a positive person has been very close and cats show clinical signs – inflammation of the upper respiratory pathways, we have failed to detect this Sars Cov-2 RNA in cat respiratory samples. In some cases, antibodies have been detected,” LLU Veterinary Medicine Faculty deal Prof. Kaspars Kovalenko said, according to Latvia Television.
And while the jury is still out as to how cats have developed such a rigorous system to fight off COVID-19, scientists are hopeful that understanding how our kitty companions are winning the fight against coronavirus could lead to treatment breakthroughs for human beings.
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