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.
Since there are no veterinary clinics in those areas, the Wisconsin Humane Society is working with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine to offer telemedicine appointments for sick and injured animals owned by Pets For Life participants, said Speed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.