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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

COVID-19 and Animals

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Tabitha111 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 16 2020 at 11:21am

COVID-19 and Animals…Odds and Ends

By Scott Weese on July 16, 2020


I’ve been slow posting the past few days, so here are a few quick recaps from the animal/COVID-19 world.


Higher quality debunking of crappy dog-COVID paper


A paper that came out in April suggested dogs could be the source of SARS-CoV-2.

Most of us considered it crap at the time, and most people moved on pretty quickly. Still, it left some fear and poor messaging in its wake. Now, a proper dismissal of it has been published. I won’t get into the details, but it’s basically “everything that was written in that paper…yeah…not so much‘.


More formally, here’s the conclusion: “In summary, the proposition of Xia (2020) that dogs are a likely pre-human host for SARS-CoV-2 is not justified by available evidence."

"Xia did not demonstrate that the low CpG frequency in the SARS- CoV-2 genome was driven by a unique selective environment in dog digestive tracts. The SARS-CoV-2 is also less virulent than other human betacoronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), contradicting his assertion that CpG-deficient viruses are more virulent."

"Furthermore, closely related betacoronaviruses from bats and pangolins have CpG-deficiencies similar to SARS-CoV-2. Dogs are not more plausible than most other potential host species, and based on current data, far less plausible than bats or pangolins."

"Still, we are missing ~20-70 years of the recent evolutionary history of the lineage leading to SARS-CoV-2, and we must broadly survey a wide range of wild and domestic species to uncover the origin of SARS-like coronaviruses.”


Mink


Ugh. Mink are really susceptible and human-mink transmission seems quite easy.

  In the Netherlands, at least 24 farms have been affected, with widespread disease in mink and some mink-human transmission. There was a plan to eliminate the mink industry in that country by 2024 and this is speeding things up as mink on affected farms are culled.


In Denmark, multiple farms have also been affected. They’re taking a different approach there, choosing not to cull affected farms.


In Canada, so far, so good. There’s an emphasis on biosecurity measures to avoid infecting mink and low disease rates in people (at the moment) mean the risk is currently fairly low, However, it’s still a concern.

From a broader concern, a big worry is mink farms being a source of spread to wildlife. Spread to feral cats has been shown in the Netherlands. Spread to wild mink (which are present throughout Canada and US) is a bigger concern given how susceptible they are.

 We don’t want to create a wildlife reservoir, either from spread from farms to wild animals or from escape of farmed mink.


Pets


Cases of human-pet transmission continue to trickle in (and probably represent a small fraction of cases).

I’m sticking to my promise not to report each new case if there’s not really anything new.

 Infections in pets are still uncommonly reported. It’s probably much more common, since there’s limited testing. The animal and public health risks are probably very limited, especially in places where there’s rampant human-human transmission. But, we’d still like to contain exposed animals to prevent them from playing any relevant role.


Livestock


So far, so good. Fortunately, livestock species (beyond mink, obviously) do not seem overly susceptible, or susceptible at all.

We need to keep paying attention to this and I still think the message “If you might be infected, stay away from animals” is important. However, the risk of significant issues from livestock seem pretty limited.


Animal origin


That’s still a huge question, and one that we need to try to answer for various reasons. It seems a little late, but the World Health Organization has sent a team to China to investigate this further.


Well, kind of.


They’ve sent two people to discuss a larger investigation.


It might be a challenge to find the source but we have to try. We need to know if this virus is still lurking somewhere in the wild, and where. We also need to understand how and why this happened, to help prevent it from happening again (with this virus or one of many other potentially nasty bugs that are lurking in the wild).

***



'A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.'
--Confucius

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2020 at 6:39pm

A nice update of things we do not know....COVID-19 and animals should be one of the priorities in dealing with Covid-19. 

You do not want Covid-19 in pigs. How prone are pigs to get Covid-19 ? Why is there so limited reporting on spread in animals while it must be widespread ? 

There is a very major risk of Covid-19 getting totally out of control if it spreads to other species-jump between species, increasing mutations and variations. If you think the present crisis can not get far more worse you are wrong ! It can get from very ugly to extremely awfull if Covid19 starts jumping from humans to minks to rabbits, ferrets, pigs etc. and maybe even mix with other ugly virusses !

If I make a comparison, a wildfire is nasty (certainly under hot, dry conditions with lots of wind) but if for some reason "the air starts burning" you can not longer fight the fire-you have to pull out. (I remember I believe Kuwait reporting in a heatwave in 2019 some palmtrees self-igniting due to sun-heat. Maybe some palm-oil or so became above ignition temperature. The fire-triangle started due to the heat-oxygen, fuel-sun provided the temperature....time solved the problem. Otherwise you may have to cut the palmtrees.)

If Covid19 is getting "out of control" in animals (and it looks like it is in the Dutch mink-farms) the only means of control is "end the minks farms". If you fail there it will spread further very likely (via wild cats ?) and the problem gets much more out of control.

Again-politics, healthcare, so far are failing to get a grip on Covid19 and-again-things can get much worse fast if Covid19 spreads to other species-this is NOT a joke ! 

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ViQueen24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2020 at 5:08am

Maybe this is why they asked HoosierMom if she had been in contact with livestock?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2020 at 5:17am

[url]https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/british-cat-tests-positive-covid-19-latest-sign-pets-can-carry-virus[/url] ;

UK public health authorities have just confirmed that a pet cat has become the first animal to test positive for COVID-19 in the UK, Sky News reports.

This isn't the first time a domesticated pet has tested positive for the virus'; pets in China, Japan and Europe have tested positive. In the US, a few tigers at the Bronx Zoo caused a stir when they tested positive back in April.

Though the British veterinarians who discovered the virus warned that this is a "very rare" event.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss explained it was a "very rare event" and infected animals detected so far only show "mild clinical signs" and recover "within a few days."

Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said the finding "should not be a cause for alarm."

"In line with the general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals," she added.

There is no evidence that the pet transmitted the virus to its owners, or was infected by them. The only details publicly known about the infected house cat are that it lives in England and was tested at a laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey last week on July 22.

The cat was reportedly diagnosed with feline herpes (oddly enough, this is a common respiratory infection in cats) by a private vet, according to the UK's environmental department.

A sample was then tested for coronavirus as part of a research program by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, and the cat tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness.

The case has been reported to the World Organiztion for Animal Health in line with international commitments, Sky reported.

WHO and CDC have warned that pet owners shouldn't worry too much about being infected by pets, though they notably haven't ruled out such a possibility.

DJ-By accident this virus was found. Let's hope Covid19 is not getting widespread in cats.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2020 at 5:22am






There were reports of cats being throw off 

Balconies in Wuhan at the start of this.....

Did they know something ??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kaye kaye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2020 at 9:37pm
keep the joy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2020 at 11:54pm

DJ-Good that such a project is there, even if it is only looking at cats and dogs (covering most pets). I hope they soon will bring data-how big is the risk of a human getting infected giving the pet the virus ? How are the chances of cats, dogs infecting other pets or humans ? 

From what we now know in NL there have been a very limited number of cases-two-as far as I know-of minks infecting humans-in those cases the infected humans did spread the virus to two other persons (most likely in their household). 

But things will change-and trying to monitor what happens is a basic. Again-you do not want large scale spread into animals and then further into humans. Covid19 is already almost impossible to control-if it jumped-on a large scale-into other species-we may be lost.

[url]https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2020/08/articles/miscellaneous/veterinary-clinic-access-and-covid-19-risks/[/url] underlines the risks of spread into other species.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Newbie1A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2020 at 9:19pm
If it's to be - it's up to me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2020 at 9:16am

[url]https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/08/17/coronavirus-mink-first-us-cases/[/url] or https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/08/17/coronavirus-mink-first-us-cases/ ;

August 18, 2020 at 12:13 a.m. GMT+2

Minks at two Utah fur farms have tested positive for the virus that causes covid-19 in humans, the Department of Agriculture said Monday, announcing the first U.S. cases in a species that has been widely culled in Europe after outbreaks there.

Employees at the farms in Utah, the second-largest producer of mink pelts used for coats and other luxury items, also tested positive for the coronavirus, the USDA said. Dean Taylor, Utah’s state veterinarian, told reporters Monday state and federal agencies are conducting additional testing to determine whether the minks were infected by humans or vice versa, and whether minks at other farms are sick.

-

A small number of novel coronavirus cases have been confirmed in dogs, cats, and other animals in the United States and other countries, and scientists and public health agencies say evidence suggests most animals are infected by people and play no meaningful role in the spread of covid-19. Taylor emphasized that on Monday, saying “the risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2 to humans is considered low,” but he noted research has been “limited.”

Dutch researchers, however, said genetic analysis strongly suggested minks sickened by humans there passed the virus back to two farmworkers, in the world’s first reports of animal-to-human transmission. That conclusion has prompted calls by infectious diseases researchers for broader study of virus transmission between humans and animals.

DJ-The number of infected mink farms in the NL increased to 36 (of the 128=almost 30% !).  This evening "our" PM Rutte gives a press briefing on Covid19 in NL. Maybe they will do something....(most likely they will claim others should do something, mayors, schools, citizens-only government action may be buying more shares in airlines "to save the economy". )

Here in NL there seems to be no-further-link between Covid19 and new human cases. The spread from minks into humans seems to be very limited (most likely two farm workers who did themselve infect two familymembers).  The spread from minks into other animals (most likely cats) may be undertested.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2020 at 2:10am

DJ-Finally our government has made a decission in how to deal with mink farms. Of the 128 farms already 41 did see infections....The decission now is that instead of ending mink farming in NL per january 2024-mink farming has to end per april 1 in 2021...that is it....no further action to stop the spread in and via minks. 

In my opinion-with reports from Gennep relating an increase in Covid19 cases in humans with mink farming-all alarm bells should go of. Most likely minks then also will spread Covid19 in pets etc-wich can further spread it...

A few links; 

[url]https://nltimes.nl/2020/08/27/dutch-permanently-ban-mink-farming-april-2021[/url] or https://nltimes.nl/2020/08/27/dutch-permanently-ban-mink-farming-april-2021

The ban on mink farming in the Netherlands will be accelerated after the animal stocks of 41 mink farms in the country were cleared in the past six months due to coronavirus infections. The ban will go into effect for the nearly 120 operating mink farms on March 21, 2021, more than 2.5 years faster than the government had planned

A law against breeding and farming the mammals was passed in 2013, with a ten-year transition period set to expire on January 1, 2024. The government has earmarked 180 million euros to buy out the mink farms over the next six months, government sources told newspaper AD and broadcaster NOS.

The plan will be announced on Friday by Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten, the newspaper said. The Cabinet decided against the immediate culling of all mink on all farms because the transmission risk from the animals to human is low, AD reported. Still, a handful of such cases were discovered in the Netherlands, which led to changes in rules regarding visiting the farms, and an early warning system was implemented to discover infected mink more quickly.

These rules were expected to be tightened up even further, the newspaper said. A deeper investigation into whether or not the farms were complying with the rules was likely, amid questions by a D66 Member of Parliament who suggested mink farmers could potentially have an infection spread among their animals and earn a lucrative subsidy from the government when their animals are ordered to be culled.

The MP, Tjeerd de Groot, suggested the possibility amid speculation that the market price of mink pelts would plummet later this year. The owners of farms whose stocks are culled receive a payout based on the 2019 market rate.

Since March, the mink dam on 41 farms and their litters have been culled after an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus was found. The latest farm was earlier this week in De Morte, Gemert-Bakel, had 4,000 dam which were being bred. The infection was discovered after symptoms of Covid-19 were found among the animals, the government said in a statement.

DJ-via google translate-very limited info; [url]https://www.gelderlander.nl/gennep/brandhaard-gennep-is-een-toevallige-samenloop-van-meerdere-kleine-groepjes-corona-infecties~a92ef1b8/[/url] or https://www.gelderlander.nl/gennep/brandhaard-gennep-is-een-toevallige-samenloop-van-meerdere-kleine-groepjes-corona-infecties~a92ef1b8/  :

NIJMEGEN / GENNEP - While the total number of new corona infections every day in the Netherlands is somewhat less than the previous one, it seems that a source of fire has arisen in the municipality of Gennep. Since last Tuesday, the number of infections there has increased by 16 to 77. A significant increase.

Yet there is no reason for additional measures from the North Limburg Safety Region, says spokeswoman Nicole Theuns. There is not just one seat of the fire. “Part of this peak in infections comes from mink farms. Another part originated in the private sphere, but does not come from one source. There are several groups of infections. ""

It is therefore a concurrence of small groups of infections that cause the peak. In the coming days it remains to be seen whether the number of infections in Gennep will increase even further, says Theuns. "That is very difficult to estimate." 

DJ-Spread via animals in my opinion is underestimated. With also testing in NL being "not up to demand" and most of the mink farming not that far from Germany, Belgium we may be facing a major risk. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2020 at 4:14am

Agree DJ.....


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.🖖

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2020 at 4:48am

DJ-An extra risk is in escaped minks. In some area's animal care notice "more than usual" escaped minks. I can imagine some farmers might be dumping possibly infected animals-to keep their farm open. They get more compensation when they have to end the farm on government orders.

Those-possibly infected-minks search for food-end up eating rabbit, cat food-sometimes killing pets. Minks eat "a lot of things" so they could show up at a lot of places...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2020 at 4:11am

DJ-[url]https://nltimes.nl/2020/09/03/coronavirus-another-mink-farm-44th-nl[/url] or https://nltimes.nl/2020/09/03/coronavirus-another-mink-farm-44th-nl DJ-The government wants mink farming to end by april 1 in 2021-the way Covid19 spread in minks there will be no uninfected farm left by then...

[url]https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Research-Institutes/Bioveterinary-Research/show-bvr/COVID-19-detected-on-two-mink-farms.htm[/url] or https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Research-Institutes/Bioveterinary-Research/show-bvr/COVID-19-detected-on-two-mink-farms.htm

It does not seem very likely that cats play a role in spreading the coronavirus. But given the many households with a cat in the Netherlands, it is important to further investigate the role of cats in the potential virus transmission of this respiratory tract infection. In this context, research into - among other things - (virus) transmission in cats is carried out by a partnership with research groups united in the Netherlands Center for One Health (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research, Erasmus MC Rotterdam and research centers in human health care).

DJ-This company tested 5000 pets for Covid19-to check on spread in or via pets but they did-so far-not find one. [url]https://www.idexx.co.uk/en-gb/search/?q=corona+test[/url] or https://www.idexx.co.uk/en-gb/search/?q=corona+test (on the sort of testing they have-it could be important to keep an eye on corona-virusses in animals/cattle-even if they are not related to human corona-virus infections (yet).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2020 at 5:46am

A new study on the spread of Covid19 virus in mink in the NL. [url]https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.01.277152v1.full.pdf[/url] or https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.01.277152v1.full.pdf The virus mutated every two weeks in the mink population. It did spread more often from mink to humans then expected. It is still unclear how the virus did spread, it may be farmworkers, wild cats or an investigation is ongoing if there could have been a spread on purpose. (Since marketprices could be lower than government compensation). 

Mink farms can become a reservoir for Covid19-virus. M. Koopmans-virologists-believes mink/fur farming may have been part of a missing link on how the virus spread from animals to humans. 

In the study they also looked at wath animals are easy to catch the virus-pigs are not among them. But cats, hamsters etc. are. 

DJ-Main point should be-YES-some animals may be part of a chain in virus spread. It may be wise to keep an eye on that to get this pandemic under control. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2020 at 6:13am

Can't see it getting under control DJ.......

not for a long long time...

..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2020 at 9:59am

[url]https://www.furfreealliance.com/shocking-results-of-the-investigation-on-probably-the-largest-fur-farm-in-the-world/[/url] or https://www.furfreealliance.com/shocking-results-of-the-investigation-on-probably-the-largest-fur-farm-in-the-world/ Carbon20-most likely the reason why so limited cases of spread of covid19 in animals is found is that we are simply not looking...

The study (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.01.277152v1.full.pdf) indicates it is quite likely mink farms did pose a risk to their enviroment-but at that time-april, may-there was no widespread testing. 

Spread via cats in my eyes may be another issue. Eventhough other testing in 5000 NL cats did not find Covid19 in a recent study. 

Officialy the Dutch policy is mink farming has to end before april 1 2021. I wonder if they will speed up the proces or go for delay and deny tactics-no peer reviewed study etc. It could also be they just do not read the report-"we did not know this-so there was no need for action". "Solving the problem by denying the problem"-with a mix of a serious look and a friendly smile-our PM is very good at this non verbal communication...

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
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