In Los Angeles, Covid tests on animals are now to be promoted. The county’s health authority has announced that it has received appropriate financial support for this purpose: private pet owners can now have their pets tested for SARS-CoV-2 free of charge. The number of cases so far: zero.
“WAS YOUR PET EXPOSED TO COVID-19? FREE PET TESTS AVAILABLE” – this notice is on the Website to the LA County Health Department. It goes on there:
Veterinary Public Health has received funding from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in animals in Los Angeles County.
Part of the funding will be used to test as many species as possible in the district for SARS-CoV-2 – including pets such as cats, dogs, hamsters and exotic animals (so-called “pocket pets”), but also wild animals such as raccoons, bats and Deer or even marine mammals like sea lions. It is hoped that this will lead to new insights. As a prerequisite for the free test, it is sufficient if the animal has had contact with a “human or animal with Covid-19”.
Although the CDC allegedly funded the questionable project, the authority states on its Websitethat there is no evidence that animals play a relevant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. One even feels compelled to point out that “infected” animals do not have to be euthanized.
LA Public Health’s move has been heavily criticized on social media – not only because of the obvious waste of taxpayers’ money, but also because Covid-19 simply doesn’t play a role in animals. There are places that always try to prove the opposite – but their data are generally extremely questionable.
Portal collects corona cases in animals
So there is a separate portal called “SARS-ANI VIS” from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, the Complexity Science Hub Vienna and the Wildlife Conservation Society New York, which is intended to present specific aspects of “SARS-CoV-2 events” in animals. How do these “events” define themselves?
We consider it an event when a single case or multiple epidemiologically related cases are identified by the presence of viral RNA (evidence of infection) and/or antibodies (evidence of exposure) in an animal.
Say: Positive test results are sufficient for an animal to be considered infected with SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, it is not clear how many animals were tested in total. For classification, we would like to remind you at this point that even papayas have already tested positive for the corona virus. In any case, since February 2020 there have been 717 corona “events” in animals:
While the majority of cases were “subclinical,” meaning asymptomatic, others, most notably cats, are said to have suffered from respiratory symptoms. Others had gastrointestinal problems (these are very typical of other corona infections, such as feline coronavirus), others had any symptoms that could not be linked to SARS-CoV-2. The symptom information seems quite questionable – a case is reported of a cat that tested positive and is said to have suffered from “mild depression”. Apparently there was a direct connection to her alleged SARS-CoV-2 infection. Several minks that tested positive are said to have died – under what circumstances remains unclear.
The most common “measure” taken after testing was isolation. In ten cases – in four cats, four dogs and two tigers – However, the measure taken was the euthanasia of the animals. In other words, because a PCR or antigen test was positive for these animals, they were summarily killed.
Anyone panicked enough to drag their pet to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 may well be panicked enough to have it killed if it tests positive. Whether that’s what the LA County Health Department is getting at remains to be seen. In any case, the obvious attempt to stir up new corona panic is very badly received on social networks – the fact that the authority has deactivated the comments on your tweet as a precaution does not change that.