Displaying items by tag: pandemic

As many students swapped classrooms for computers over the past year, a new survey of 2,000 parents across the UK and US finds that their children’s classmates in the virtual learning setting – their pets—provided real mental health, academic and social benefits. Research has long shown the benefits of having pet interaction in a physical classroom setting and this study confirms these benefits are now being seen in virtual education environments as well. The survey reveals pets helped children cope during the pandemic -- decreasing loneliness, anxiety, and stress and providing a source of motivation for their studies helping improve academic performance. This is positive news in light of early indicators the pandemic has had a negative impact on children’s social skills and well-being, with a recent report finding over 1.5 million children in the UK alone will need additional mental health support as a consequence of the pandemic.

oxoplasma gondii: a risk for people and wildlife

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Keeping cats indoors is safer for cats, people, and wildlife. ABC has numerous resources to help pet owners transition their cats to full-time indoor living, including enrichment activities, literature, and more. Photo by Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

(Washington, D.C., April 14, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”

For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners.

New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020Shi et al. 2020Sun et al. preprintZhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.

Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It's suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.

“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn't accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”

As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.

Since 1997, ABC's Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Cats and COVID-19

Information and resources for those concerned about their cats during the pandemic

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Keeping cats indoors is safer for cats, people, and wildlife. ABC has numerous resources to help pet owners transition their cats to full-time indoor living, including enrichment activities, literature, and more. Photo by Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

(Washington, D.C., April 10, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”

For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners. 

New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020; Shi et al. 2020; Sun et al. preprint; Zhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.

Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It’s suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.

“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn’t accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”

As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.

Since 1997, ABC’s Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.

###

American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Talkin' Pets News

February 22, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-host - Dr. Linda Register - East West Animal Hospital

Reporter - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest -Angela Hughes, DVM,PhD, senior manager of Global Scientific Advocacy Relations at Mars Petcare will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 2/22/20 at 635pm ET to inform us about the Wisdom Panel and how Mars is making a better world for our pets

The No. 1 Animated Feature Film of All Time Disney’s “Frozen 2” Arrives Home on Digital Feb. 11 and on Blu-rayä Feb. 25 - Call and Win a Blu-ray copy on Talkin' Pets 2/22/20 5-8pm EST

Buzzing to a City Near You: Zika Virus

AMCA Warns Public of Exotic Mosquito-borne Disease Spreading in Caribbean

 

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – February 9, 2016 - Zika virus, a pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes, has seemingly established itself in South America and the Caribbean and is now threatening the U.S. Cases have been reported in Florida, Illinois, Texas and Hawaii in patients having traveled to Central and South America, where they acquired the virus through mosquito bites. It’s unclear whether the virus could establish itself in the U.S., but the mosquitoes that transmit this disease, the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) are found in southeastern and Midwestern states. Both species lay their eggs in containers such as cans, discarded tires and other items that hold water close to human habitation.

“This is a most discomfiting development, and reminds us that some of the most exotic mosquito-borne diseases are but a few hours plane flight from the continental United States,” says Joseph Conlon, Technical Advisor of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA).

The virus was first isolated from monkeys in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947. Although rarely fatal, the symptoms of rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache can be debilitating and may persist for several weeks. Alarmingly, exposure of a fetus to Zika virus during pregnancy has been known to result in birth defects such as microcephaly, a deformation of the infants head often associated with various significant developmental problems.

Public health departments and mosquito control districts in the southeast are gearing up public education, mosquito control and laboratory programs to meet the threat. “Traditional mosquito methods of truck-mounted and aerial sprays are ineffective in controlling the species of mosquitoes that transmit Zika,” says Conlon. “The best way to prevent Zika from establishing itself is through the removal of water-bearing containers. Sanitation is key.”

In the meantime, individuals can do their part by eliminating water sources providing mosquito- breeding habitat around their homes. Bites can be prevented through the use of long-sleeve clothing and EPA-registered repellents such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon-eucalyptus. It’s particularly important for women who are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant to avoid travelling to areas of active Zika infection. Further recommendations can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

About the American Mosquito Control Association

Celebrating 81 years of protecting public health in 2016, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service professional association. With over 1,600 members worldwide in over 50 countries, AMCA is international in scope, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.organd follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.