Anti-vaxxers endanger domestic cat companions and others

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool FC manager, has been brave enough to make his feelings known about the anti-vax movement. He has compared people who refuse the Covid vaccination to drink-drivers. He blames them for transmitting the disease to others. And he is right. Anti-vaxxers ignore the experts and the biggest study on vaccination that has ever occurred.

Blake Bargatze, 24, contracted Covid-19 at an indoor concert prior to receiving a vaccine
Blake Bargatze, 24, contracted Covid-19 at an indoor concert prior to receiving a vaccine. He was an anti-vaxxer according to the news media and The Independent headline is “They realised they were wrong too late: The anti-vaxxers making the best case for the Covid shot”. Photo: GoFundMe/Blake Bargatze.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

ASSOCIATED PAGE: China: three domestic cats euthanized after they contracted Covid.

Hundreds of millions of people have received the Covid vaccination and we know it works well and safely. There are some sad cases where a patient has been harmed or even killed by the vaccine but these are incredibly rare and often these tragic cases are due to underlying health issues. Overall, there is great benefit to the vaccines.

This comes through when we see anti-vaxxers in hospital dying from Covid, wired up to breathing machines at death’s door. At that tragic moment in their lives, they say to the camera that they were wrong to refuse the inoculation. Too late I am afraid.

Vaccine refuseniks not only endanger others, they endanger their pets. It is irresponsible. This is a zoonotic disease. It travels between people and animals and vice versa. It seems that people forget this.

Back in July, Sky News published an article (there are many others) entitled: COVID-19: Pet owners can pass on coronavirus to their cats and dogs, study suggests.

Dutch scientists tested 156 dogs and 154 cats from 196 households for the coronavirus. Six cats and seven dogs ‘returned positive PCR tests’ which I take to me that they’d caught the disease. And 17.4% of the cats and dogs tested positive for antibodies to the disease. This means they were exposed to the virus and their bodies created antibodies which protected them.

Although it seems that cats’ immune systems deal well with the Covid virus and the symptoms of illness are usually mild, they can become a carrier for the disease (a reservoir) and pass it on to others, perhaps visitors to the home of the anti-vaxxer. It is an example of how refuseniks can endanger both their companion animals and others via their pet.

What is a reservoir? It is when a person or animal has the disease asymptomatically and delivers it to others silently.

Cats Protection say that there is limited evidence that people transmit the disease to cats although it may be possible. I believe they are incorrect. There are real life examples at zoos where big cats have caught the disease from zookeepers. The research above indicates that it is distinctly possible plus we know how zoonotic diseases work. Cats Protection do advise taking precautions to avoid giving the disease to pets. They say: “Those infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) should be particularly mindful by minimising contact”. Their advice could include a recommendation that all pet owner take the vaccine as those who are vaccinated are much less likely to pass the disease on to others.

What if a vaccine refusenik has caught the disease but is unaware until the disease takes hold and the symptoms get worse? In that time, they can give the disease to their cat. No matter how we look at this, there is a genuinely greater risk of giving Covid to cat companions if a cat owner refuses to take the vaccine. That is the only point I am making in this post.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior
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