Q&A: Peter Halfmann and UW Researchers Look at Coronavirus in Cats, Potential Link With Humans

Posted on The Cap Times

Last week, researchers at UW-Madison's Influenza Research Institute published a study that found cats can contract and transmit SARS-CoV-2 to one another. One senior scientist in the lab is Peter Halfmann, who said the findings can have important implications for both pet owners and animal care providers. In recent months, Halfmann has been expanding the group’s research and writing grants and manuscripts regarding COVID-19.

How Safe Are Pets from Coronavirus?

Posted on Bloomberg
Tony Goldberg, a professor of epidemiology and veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin, said that it’s not uncommon for diseases to bounce around between species. Ferrets are often victims of human flu viruses, for example. When people bring sick ferrets to the vet, they often appear to have the same cough and runny nose as their pets.

This Family’s Repeated Strep Throat Infections Frustrated Their Doctors

Posted on The Washington Post

After she got home, the couple was discussing the plethora of medical resources available in Madison, which includes a large and respected college of veterinary medicine. “Iris had the brilliant idea” of calling the university animal hospital and trying to talk to an expert there, Levitis recalled. Maybe, the couple thought, an academic center would be more receptive to the cat hypothesis than community vets had been. She wound up talking to Caitlin Barry-Heffernan, a fourth-year veterinary internal medicine resident. Then she handed the phone to her husband for his pitch.

Safer-At-Home Measures Helped Stem Spread Of COVID-19 In Wisconsin, Research Suggests

Posted on WUWM
There have been a lot of mysteries about COVID-19 since it first appeared in humans in late 2019. How does it spread? How does the coronavirus mutate? Which organs does it affect? Virologist Thomas Friedrich is one of the people tasked with answering these questions. Friedrich is an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiological Science at UW’s School of Veterinary Medicine who's been tracking COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

To Prevent Pandemics, Bridging the Human and Animal Health Divide

Posted on Undark
Sandra Newbury, director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worked with the shelters to contain the virus [a strain of bird flu, H7N2, never before seen in cats]. Thanks to the private donor, they were able to offer free testing and medical care for the adopted cats, eventually isolating hundreds that had been infected. “We were really aggressive in our efforts to not let it spread,” Newbury said. She believes identifying such a large number of infected animals and quarantining them allowed the authorities to eradicate the virus. According to Newbury, no positive tests have been reported since March 2017.

Cats Can Infect Each Other With Coronavirus, Study Finds

Posted on The Telegraph
In the study, led by researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo, three felines were inoculated with the virus. A day later, three other cats were housed with the infected felines in pairs, and all three also went on to test positive for Covid-19.

Cats Can Transfer Coronavirus to Other Cats, Study Says. so What About Humans?

Posted on Deseret News

A new study suggests that cats can get infected with the novel coronavirus and give it to other cats. So what about humans? There’s no evidence yet. University of Tokyo and University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine researchers found cats “can readily become infected” with COVID-19, receiving the virus from humans and other cats, according to USA Today.

There’s Bad News, Good News on Coronavirus’ Spread in Cats

Posted on HealthDay News
With sporadic reports of tigers and housecats picking up the new coronavirus from nearby humans, a new trial gives more details on whether cats can pass the virus to each other. The answer: Yes, and quite easily, according to the new trial involving six felines. But there was good news, too: Even though cats can transmit the new SARS-CoV-2 virus to other felines, none of the kitties infected in the new study appeared to get sick.

Cats Can Transmit the Coronavirus to Each Other, but They Probably Won’t Get Sick From It

Posted on The New York Times
Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and Peter Halfmann of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with other researchers from both the United States and Japan, conducted the study, in which three domestic cats were inoculated with the virus and three additional uninfected cats were put in cages, one with each of the inoculated cats.