The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has raised many questions about its impact on humans and animals alike. While most research has focused on people, there is still uncertainty about how the virus affects other creatures. One common pet that has been a topic of discussion recently is the hedgehog. In this article, we’ll explore what experts know so far about whether hedgehogs can get Covid-19 and how to keep them safe from it.
Can Hedgehogs Get Covid?
At this time, there is no evidence that hedgehogs can get infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. This is based on research conducted by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and other health organizations.
However, animal studies have shown that some species of animals, such as cats and ferrets, are susceptible to infection from SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it’s possible that hedgehogs could be at risk if they come into contact with a person or another animal carrying the virus.
How to Keep Your Hedgehog Safe
If you own a pet hedgehog, it’s important to take steps to keep them safe from potential exposure to the virus. Here are some tips:
- Wash your hands before and after handling your pet.
- Avoid taking your hedgehog out in public areas where they may come into contact with people who may be infected.
- Keep their living environment clean by regularly washing food bowls and toys.
The Growing List of Animals Affected by COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused a great deal of disruption to the lives of humans and animals alike. While most human cases are linked to transmission from other people, it is now known that some animal species can also contract the virus.
There have been reports of SARS-CoV-2 being detected in many species, including cats, dogs, ferrets, mink, tigers and lions. Other mammals such as horses and monkeys may be susceptible to the virus as well.
Animals Tested Positive for COVID-19
- Cats: The first confirmed case of a domestic cat testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 was reported in April 2020.
- Dogs: There have been several confirmed cases where pet dogs tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but showed no clinical signs or symptoms.
- Tigers and Lions: In April 2020 at Bronx Zoo in New York City four tigers and three African lions tested positive for SARS CoV 2 after showing mild respiratory illness.
- Mink: In August 2020 an outbreak occurred among farmed mink on fur farms across Europe (Denmark) with thousands affected by the disease. It is believed that this was due to direct contact between infected humans and mink.
The Link Between COVID-19 and Animals
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. It is believed that this virus originated in animals before spreading to humans. As such, scientists are exploring the potential link between animals and the spread of COVID-19.
Possible Sources of SARS-CoV-2
It is not yet fully understood how or where SARS-CoV-2 originated. However, several theories have been proposed regarding its source:
- Bats: Bats are thought to be a potential reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 due to their ability to harbor many different types of viruses without showing signs of illness.
- Pangolins: Pangolins are endangered species whose scales contain compounds similar to those found in coronaviruses. This has led some researchers to believe that pangolins may have played a role in the emergence of SARS CoV 2.
- Intermediary Hosts: An intermediary host could also be responsible for transmitting the virus from one animal species (such as bats) to another (such as humans). The most likely candidate for an intermediary host is the Chinese horseshoe bat.
Evidence That Animals May Be Involved In Spreading COVID-19
There is evidence that certain animals can transmit COVID-19, though it is unclear how significant this transmission might be. For example, cats and dogs have been shown to carry low amounts of infectious material in their bodies after being infected with the novel coronavirus.
Additionally, there have been reports of mink farms having outbreaks of COVID-19 which could indicate transmission from animal sources. However, further research needs to be done in order to definitively determine whether or not these animals play any meaningful role in spreading COVID-19.
What is the Duration of COVID-19 Infection?
The duration of COVID-19 infection can vary from person to person, but it typically lasts for two weeks or more. The incubation period, or time between exposure and when symptoms begin, usually ranges from 2–14 days. People with mild cases may only experience symptoms for a few days, while those with severe cases may have symptoms that last for several weeks.
Symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
“Most people (about 80%) will recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment,” according to the World Health Organization.
Longer Durations Of Symptoms:
In some people, certain symptoms—such as fatigue and shortness of breath—may persist even after recovery. This is often referred to as “post-acute” or “long haul” syndrome. Studies suggest that up to 30% of people who had coronavirus could still be experiencing some effects months later.
How To Recover From Covid-19 Infection:
→Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
→ Get adequate rest and sleep.
→ Eat healthy foods that are rich in nutrients like fruits and vegetables.
→ Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption during this time.
→ Exercise regularly, following your doctor’s instructions.
Overall, the answer to the question “Can Hedgehogs Get Covid?” is complicated. While there have been no reports of hedgehog-specific infection, it is possible that they may be susceptible to contracting the virus. As with any other pet, best practices should be followed such as frequent handwashing and avoiding contact with infected individuals or animals in order to protect your beloved pets from potential exposure.
It is also important for owners to monitor their hedgehogs for signs of respiratory illness and contact a veterinarian if any symptoms are observed. As more research becomes available, we can gain a better understanding of this complex issue.