It is deeply saddening to admit that COVID-19, the disastrous Coronavirus disease, has ruled the world for almost a year now. Its first case was recorded on 17 November 2019, according to media reports on unpublished Chinese government data. And the WHO announced a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a recently discovered coronavirus strain, a type of virus proven to affect respiratory infections in humans.
The first case was detected in Malaysia on 24 January 2020. Ever since then, Malaysians have been going through a roller coaster with the fluctuating cases that have been kicking in.
We learned that COVID-19 originated from an animal, possibly from a bat. Does that mean that animals have a significant part to play in the transmission of this catastrophic disease?
Well, according to Centers for Disease Control, there is no proof that animals play a role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on limited information available to date, the threat of animals spreading COVID-19 to humans is reported to be LOW.
However, it seems that it can transmit from human to animals in certain situations , especially upon close contact with an infected person.
CDC has observed that a small number of pet cats and dogs have been confirmed to have been infected with the disease after contact with people testing positive of COVID-19 in many countries, including the United States.
A few lions and tigers in the New York Zoo were diagnosed for SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19, after signs of respiratory disease identified by the United States Department of Agriculture. Public health authorities suspect that these big cats became ill upon being exposed to a zoo staff who was COVID-19 positive.
However, all these animals have completely recovered.
Nonetheless, there seems to be no news in Malaysia that indicates the spread of COVID-19 from humans to animals. These results were based on a specific number of animals and do not indicate whether animals can transmit infection to humans.
Fortunately, the WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that the vaccine against Covid-19 could be ready by the end of the year, according to the news published by Malay Mail on the 7th October 2020.
At the very moment, the least we can all do is to take precautions as prevention is better than cure. Let us therefore unite and battle COVID-19 by staying home and by always practising the SOPs implemented by the Government, including the 3Cs and 3Ws.