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SARS-CoV-2 in human and cat feces?


Dr. Michael Fox, Animal Doctor
 |  Pocono Record

DEAR READERS: My concern that the coronavirus could be present in the feces of infected humans after they test negative for the virus in respiratory samples has been recently confirmed in the gastrointestinal journal Gut (“COVID-19 and the gastrointestinal tract: more than meets the eye,” Siew C. Ng and Herbert Tilg, September 2020). I based this concern on the fact that it is well known that feline coronavirus can be present in cats’ feces, but now that cats can get a different coronavirus infection from humans with COVID-19, my next concern is that such cats could also have the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their feces. On this topic, I contacted professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He wrote, “We have performed additional cat experiments and found one of six animals shed SARS-CoV-2 in its feces. So, in our hands, SARS-CoV-2 can be present in feces, but it is not a common occurrence.” But in a larger population, this could be problematic if the amount of viral shedding is sufficient to cause infection. Read on for more about cats and SARS-CoV-2.


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