Pets could also contract Wuhan coronavirus: Chinese medical expert

Domesticated mammals potential carriers of 2019-nCoV, need to be placed under home quarantine

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Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan comments on 2019-nCoV. (Youtube screenshot)

Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan comments on 2019-nCoV. (Youtube screenshot)

[Last update January. 31 09:40]

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan (李蘭娟) said Wednesday (Jan. 29) that since the Wuhan coronavirus is being passed between mammals, it is therefore necessary to place household pets under home quarantine as well.

With the worldwide number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections reaching 7,812, including 170 deaths, international experts are closely examining different approaches to slowing the outbreak. Many countries, including Taiwan, have issued home quarantine advice for potential 2019-nCoV carriers, asking them to remain home and monitor their health.

Li, who is a professor at Zhejiang University specializing in liver diseases, said during an interview with China's public network CCTV that household pets are also subject to the coronavirus and should not be neglected. She emphasized that 2019-nCoV has been linked to animals sold at a local seafood market in Wuhan and that owners should pay attention to their pets, reported ETtoday.

Li urged people around the world to take responsibility for their own health and seek proper treatment once they feel unwell. She added that patients who recover from the novel coronavirus are unlikely to be infected again due to the antibodies generated by their body, reported Liberty Times.

On Thursday (Jan. 30), the World Health Organization (WHO) responded to Li's claim on Facebook, stressing that there is no solid evidence supporting the speculation. It added that pet owners should wash their hands with soap regardless to prevent contracting any kind of disease, reported CNA.