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Vets allay fear of cross-transmission of COVID-19 from pets to human

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Following insinuations over the possibility of cross-transmission of COVID-19 from animals to man, Small Animal Veterinary Association, Nigeria (SAVAN) has allayed fears of pet owners, insisting that it has not been scientifically proven. 

This followed diagnosis of COVID-19 in a Tiger at a Zoo in New York and a similar diagnosis in a cat in Belgium.

A statement signed by the president of the association Dr Kunle Abiade, said although the global medical community claimed that COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease as it has been traced to animals, the scientific evidence is yet to be found. 

The statement said, “The origin of COVID-19 itself has been traced to animals (in this case, bats or pangolins, but no scientific evidence has yet been found in these isolated events as to the origin of the disease in the affected animals or whether they are capable of transmitting it to their close contacts.”

The statement added that “It is our informed opinion as practitioners of veterinary medicine that while studying the situation, a lot of research is still needed to elucidate the interactions between humans and animals even as 70 per cent of human disease originate from animals.”

They, however, implored pet owners not to panic and maintain healthy relationships with their livestock, urging them to try as much as possible to prevent unwarranted interactions of their livestock with other people.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has called on the government to give poultry and livestock feed millers grains from the National Strategic Grains Reserve as part of palliatives to support the industry. 

The NVMA also asked the government to consider providing stimulus packages and social safety net for animal production sub-sector and its value chain actors.


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