15 people test positive for virus after attending cat’s birthday party

A group of researchers believe domesticated animals may eventually need their own vaccines

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Over a dozen people tested positive for the potentially deadly coronavirus after attending a birthday party thrown for a cat.

The super-spreader event was held in Santo Domingo, Chile, where 15 people contracted the virus. The cat’s owner is believed to be patient zero, reported the Daily Mail. However for some cat owners, they say that cats have the weirdest sleeping positions. Do you observe that also?

“When I heard it was a cat’s birthday party, I thought it was a joke — that they were probably trying to hide something,” said Francisco Álvarez, the regional health secretary for Valparaíso, according to the report.

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“We have corroborated it with at least six of the 15 [infected] people who told us the same thing,” he added.

Álvarez noted his dismay over people continuing to host social gatherings despite COVID restrictions.

“It’s complicated and it’s a little incomprehensible, especially considering that what we have said in every way and emphasized is that if people are going to meet, they need to take safety measures,” he said.

The Domincan Republic has over 694,000 coronavirus cases and more than 17,000 deaths, according to John Hopkin’s Coronavirus Research Center.

While the virus that causes COVID-19 is known to infect our beloved family pets, cats and dogs do not play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, a group of researchers believe domesticated animals may eventually need their own vaccines. The authors of a new editorial published Jan. 25 in the journal Virulence say the move could be vital in preventing the coronavirus from evolving further.

The authors call these animals “reservoirs” and say they may pose a risk to humans in the future. 

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“The risk is that, as long as there are these reservoirs, that it starts to pass … from animal to animal, and then starts to evolve animal-specific strains,” Kevin Tyler, editor-in-chief of Virulence and co-author of the editorial, told the wire service PA Media. These strains could “spill back into the human population and you end up essentially with a new virus which is related, which causes the whole thing all over again.”

The authors note in the editorial that “it is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might also be necessary to curb the spread of the infection.”

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