can birds carry covid 19

The coronaviruses (CoVs) are a family of ribonucleic acid viruses that are present in both mammals and birds. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV originated in bats, and there is a possibility that this could be the case for SARS-CoV-2 as well. There is already evidence that a probable intermediary host is responsible for the emergence of viruses in humans as was the case for SARS-CoVs and MERS-CoV. As the SARS-CoV-2 originated from a live animal market, there is always the question if domestic animals are susceptible to these viruses and the possible risk of zoonotic transmission with mammals, including humans. This uncertainty of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus between humans and animals is of great significance worldwide. Hence, this paper focuses on the avian CoVs and their possible relation and interaction with SARS-CoV-2.

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are the largest known RNA viruses with a genomic length of about 30 kb. Structurally they are spherical with a diameter between 50 and 200 nm and spiked bulbous projections of S membrane glycoprotein mediating fusion with target cell membranes (Brown et al., 2016; Uyanga et al., 2021). CoVs belong to the subfamily Coronavirinae, family Coronaviridae, and order Nidovirales. The most distinctive feature of Coronaviridae is the genomic size, with the largest genomes among all RNA viruses (26.4–31.7 kb in length) with a G + C (guanine and cytosine) content varying from 32 to 43% (Leila and Sorayya, 2020). In 1937, the Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) was first isolated from an outbreak in chicken flocks. CoVs are a family of enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses of medical and veterinary importance that infect mammals and birds, causing respiratory or enteric diseases. CoVs are members of the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae and Nidovirales (Li et al., 2020).

Based on their genotype and serology CoVs are divided into four genera: alpha and beta (mostly in mammals), gamma (in birds and marine mammals), and delta found mainly in birds and swine. The 5? end of the CoV genome encodes proteins required for viral RNA synthesis. A majority of these proteins are encoded by open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1a and ORF1b, which are translated as polyproteins pp1a and pp1ab and are processed by proteinases into 15 or 16 non-structural proteins (NSPs). The 3? end of the genome encodes structural proteins: spike (S) glycoprotein, membrane (M) glycoprotein, small envelope (E) protein, and phosphorylated nucleocapsid (N) proteins. The S protein, which binds to specific cellular receptors, is divided into the S1 subunit and the S2 subunit. This protein is essential for T cell responses and induced virus-neutralizing antibodies (Han et al., 2020; Uyanga et al., 2021).

Coronaviruses have been found in numerous animals (i.e., all vertebrates except humans) and are responsible for a range of illnesses, which are respiratory, enteric, hepatic, and neurological. These viruses are also the causative agents for common colds in humans. Other members of coronavirus in beta-genus have caused outbreaks of fatal diseases such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS, caused by SARS-CoV) in 2002–2003, and the recent Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS, caused by MERS-CoV) in 2012. SARS and MERS are zoonotic pathogens since they originate from animals as a result of transmission to humans (Wille et al., 2016; Suryaman, 2021).

The last 20 years have seen a surge in viral diseases such as SARS-CoV, MERS, and the recent pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 outbreak, which originated from a wet animal market in China in December 2019, and caused alarming infection and death rates, has escalated to a global pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2, which is from the beta group, shares an 89% nucleotide identity with bat SARS-like-CoVZXC21 and 82% with that of human SARS-CoV. It was also found to be 96.2% similar to the coronavirus whole genome in bats, 79% similar to the SARS-CoV genome, and 50% similar to MERS-CoV (Tang et al., 2020). However, the amplifying mammalian host, intermediate between bats and humans, is not known. The first cases of COVID-19 were identified from the wholesale market in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus; animal-to-human transmission was thought to be the mode of transmission, although later cases have shown human-to-human transmission as well (Cascella et al., 2020).

Recommendations From The AVMA

Even though there is little chance of transmission, it never hurts to be cautious, and situations like these serve as a reminder of how crucial biosecurity is. Until we have a better understanding of the virus, the American Veterinary Medical Association advises people infected with COVID-19 to limit their contact with their pets and to let others take care of them. Additionally, the AVMA advises against sharing food, kissing, and hugs with pets. This stops animals from coming into contact with the respiratory secretions of infected people.

Is COVID-19 A Danger To Pets?

One concern that pet owners have is whether the virus can spread from humans to their companion animals. The risk of this occurring seemed to be low. But at the end of February, it was discovered that a Pomeranian that belonged to a COVID-19 patient had a weakly positive test result. After another examination, the dog’s results for the virus’s RNA remained positive. Despite this, the dog does not exhibit any symptoms and does not have any antibodies to the virus. This indicates that the immune system has not yet identified or responded to the virus. The dog is still under quarantine and being monitored. *.

Thus far, testing conducted by a major veterinary laboratory on samples examined has not revealed any positive dogs or cats. As testing is still ongoing, our understanding of how COVID-19 affects pets may change. Currently, there doesn’t seem to be much of a risk of COVID-19 spreading to pets.

How COVID-19 Likely Developed

Since COVID-19 is a relatively new virus, how did it evolve? Viruses are fascinating because they can undergo mutations. This implies that when the virus multiplies in a host cell, their genetic makeup may unintentionally change. Due to these modifications, the virus may now be able to infect a new host. Alternatively, it may make the virus more virulent, meaning that it is stronger and capable of causing more harm. According to research, COVID-19 most likely entered humans from bats in a Chinese live animal and seafood market. After then, it probably spread from person to person through respiratory secretions from coughing and sneezing, such as saliva and mucus.


What animals can carry COVID?

There have been a few reports of infected mammalian animals spreading the virus to people during close contact, but this is rare. These cases include farmed mink in Europe and the United States, white-tailed deer in Canada, pet hamsters in Hong Kong, and a cat in Thailand.

Can pets catch COVID?

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. The risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low.

How long are you contagious with COVID?

However, individuals are typically contagious for about 10 days after the onset of symptoms. For those with mild to moderate symptoms, this period can be shorter, often around 5-7 days. For people with severe symptoms or those with a weakened immune system, contagiousness can last longer, potentially up to 20 days.

How many times can you get COVID?

You can be reinfected multiple times. Reinfections are most often mild, but severe illness can occur. If you are reinfected, you can also spread the virus to others.