As per reports, the study which has been published in the website of the journal Science has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the transmission of the coronavirus between humans and animals.
Researchers from prestigious academic institutions of China have carried out the study to find the susceptibility of COVID-19 to different kinds of animals so they can be efficiently used to test experimental vaccines to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Although there has been no strong evidence that pets can be carriers of the deadly virus, there have been some reported incidents of animals contracting the disease from humans.
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City who developed a dry cough and loss of appetite after contact with an infected zookeeper tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.
The study found that cats can infect each other by respiratory droplet transmission.
Infected cats had virus in the mouth, nose and small intestine whereas the cats that had been exposed to the virus had massive lesions in their lungs, nose and throat.
In ferrets, the virus was found in the upper respiratory tract but did not cause severe disease.
WHO on Wednesday said that it is working to find out in more detail about the role of pet animals in transmission of COVID-19.
WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhovesaid,”We don’t believe that they are playing a role in transmission but we think that they may be able to be infected from an infected person.”