Domestic cats and dogs may have to be vaccinated in the future against Covid-19 to protect people

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This is a quick note but one worth making nonetheless. I think I can predict that in the long term, perhaps in about 18 months to 2 years time, governments in various countries, perhaps predominantly in the West, will be thinking about vaccinating companion animals as a second phase protective measure against Covid-19.  This is because there is a concern amongst some scientists that animals may create a reservoir for mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus. As the virus is zoonotic it can theoretically and actually be transmitted from animals to people and this must apply also to companion animals. Danish mink farmer with white mink due to be euthanised. Photo per credit Perhaps because of the general panicked nature of governmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough work has been done on this aspect of the spread of the disease. In addition nobody wants to alarm anybody which may lead to companion animal abuse. In fact, in China, at the outset of the pandemic, there were

What causes cat scratch fever?

The rickettsial organism Bartonella henselae causes cat scratch fever. The organism is between a virus and a bacteria in type. It is in infected fleas. If the cat has fleas the disease is transmitted to a person by a bite or scratch as the organism is in the cat's mouth and/or on the cat's claws from grooming.

Homes should be treated for fleas and the cat should be flea combed regularly. Avoid heavy duty chemical treatments as these are toxic.

The symptoms occur about 3-10 days after being scratched. At the site of the scratch in about half the cases, the skin becomes red and raised. The lymph nodes in the armpit, groin and neck become tender. This can last for several months.

Rarely the person suffers more severe illness and in 5% of cases the person suffers from flu like symptoms.

Cats are usually asymptomatic (no signs).

People who have cat scratch fever should consult their GP. If the cat does show signs take him or her to the vet. Treatment includes the drugs azithromycin and doxycycline.

This is absolutely not a reason to declaw a cat.

Michael Avatar

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