For the first time in the TRNC, the Near East University found that a domestic cat was infected with the British variant of SARS-CoV-2 from its owner.
Near East University scientists determined for the first time in Northern Cyprus that COVID-19 was transmitted from human to pet. Investigations revealed that the domestic cat of the family found to be infected with the British Variant of SARS-CoV-2 in TRNC was also infected with the same variant.
Studies conducted around the world to date have suggested that pets can become infected three to six weeks after COVID-19 patients. Investigations by Near East University researchers revealed that the cat was infected at the same time as its family members in the case in the TRNC. Thus, it was detected for the first time in the world where human-to-pet transmission occurred within the first 10 days. This result also showed that the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 British variant was capable of being passed from human to human as well as from human to domestic cat.
Near East University Animal Hospital veterinarians explained that British variant infection causes a variety of clinical symptoms in the cat, including cardiac and ocular abnormalities.
Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ: "We are also following people who come into contact with the cat infected with the British variant."
Another interesting point of the case is that the family, unaware that they also infect their cats, was quarantined with the diagnosis of COVID-19 and entrusted their domestic cats to another family. Near East University, while monitoring the symptoms of the cat infected with the British variant on the one hand, has also monitored whether there will be a cat-to-human SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Near East University Acting Rector Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ said, “We are also following people who come into contact with the cat infected with the British variant. Thus, we will reveal whether the virus, passed from person to cat, is transmitted from cat to humans again, ”he explained.
Assoc. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören: "The British variant has a high transition capacity from human to pet."
From Near East University COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory Assoc. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören, on the other hand, made the assessment that "This result showed that the SARS-CoV-2 British variant can be passed from person to animal at a high capacity as it is transmitted from person to person." Assoc. Dr. Mahmut Ergören used the expression "an important determination to be considered in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic".