Corona virus, which has left its mark over the last few days, as well as the question we are curious about:

Yes, in these days when we leave 2019 behind and enter 2020, everyone is in a state of fear and anxiety. First of all, let’s understand what the corona virus is and why it is so important. Then let’s discuss what we are really curious about, whether our cats and dogs can infect us. Before we start, let’s learn the term Zoonosis: There are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals, these are called zoonotic diseases. These diseases include Brucella, BSE (Mad Cow), Rabies, Anthrax, Tuberculosis and Bird Flu

coronavirus bacteria cell

Corona virus is simply a virus with a larger genome than other RNA viruses, so more variants are formed during its reproduction and the its new generation is constantly evolving. It is necessary to distinguish between the bird flu virus and the general influenza (flu) that we know. To date Corona virus has been divided into 3 antigen groups.

world map in blue with china in red and all lines pointing to china

Let’s discuss this in simple terms using an example.


Antigen 1 group:

Human corona virus: Human corona virus 229E: Causes respiratory disease in humans

Swine corona virus: causes respiratory infection and enteritis (intestinal infection) in pigs

Canine corona virus: Causes enteritis (intestinal infection) in dogs

Feline corona virus: Causes enteritis (intestinal infection) in cats

Feline FIP virus : Corona viruses that infect cats mutate into FIP virus and result in respiratory infection, intestinal infection, hepatitis, CNS and usually death.

Rabbit corona virus: Causes enteritis in rabbits.

Antigen 2 group:

Human corona virus OC43: Usually a respiratory infection.

Mouse hepatitis virus: Respiratory infection, enteritis, hepatitis, ZNS.

Porcine HEV virus: Respiratory infection, enteritis and CNS.

Bovine corona virus: Respiratory infection and enteritis.

Antigen 3 group:

Infectious bursitis virus: hepatitis and bursitis in chickens. Turkey corona virus: respiratory infection and enteritis. The corona virus of 2002, known as SARS, is seen to cause respiratory tract and intestinal infections in humans as well as infect immune system cells. SARS Antigen is inbetween group 2 and 3 and its natural host is unknown, but it originates from the Far East.

It was determined that SARS was transmitted from Civet cats to humans, and MERS was transmitted from camels to humans. And this year’s star, nCOV, has become the most popular among corona viruses. And it kept the agenda very interesting. Now, as seen above, we have been dealing with Corona virus for a long time, but generally, most Corona viruses make the individual to which they are attached to sick, and do not easily affect another of individual or spices. However, this does not change the fact that the corona virus is zoonotic.

camel vector infecting humans

The most feared thing was the question of whether the Corona virus, which is the fearful dream of our cats and dogs at home, will pass on to humans and cause nCov. WHO (World Health Organization) has so far declared that our cats and dogs have nothing to do with nCov, so we do not have to worry about them infecting us. So we can continue to love our cats and dogs in peace.

Gültekin Külekçi

Veterinary Physician Gültekin Külekçi