Coronavirus: There is “no evidence” that animals can transmit the virus, says ANSES

24-03-2020
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INFECTION The passage of Covid-19 “from humans to another animal species currently seems unlikely,” says the National Health Security Agency

There is “no evidence” that animals can transmit the coronavirus , said this Wednesday the National Health Security Agency ( ANSES ). The case of a dog , tested “weakly positive” to the virus in Hong Kong end of February when his owner was infected, had raised questions about infections between humans and animals .

ANSES urgently assembled a group of experts to examine this issue and that of contamination by ingestion of meat . Result: “There is no evidence that pets and farm animals play a role in the spread of the virus.” Even if the coronavirus was probably born in a bat, its passage “from humans to another animal species currently seems unlikely,” says ANSES.

Experts note that no virus of the same group as Covid-19 has ever been detected in a domestic animal . In some species, the receptor to which the virus attaches is present. However, this presence is not sufficient to allow replication of the virus.

Eating meat is not dangerous

According to ANSES, detection of the virus in the nasal and oral cavities of the Hong Kong dog is not proof of the animal’s infection. The agency mentions the possibility of “passive contamination”, and calls for additional studies on this point.

The conclusions therefore exclude contamination of a farm animal and consequently that through the consumption of meat. . For experts, the only possible way of infection of food is handling by a sick person. In the current state of knowledge, contamination by the digestive tract is ruled out but an infection of the respiratory tract during chewing “cannot be excluded”.

ANSES therefore advocates for good hygiene practices in all circumstances. The health organization notes that cooking at 63 ° C for four minutes can cut the risk of contamination of a food product by 10,000.

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