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Opinion paper: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and domestic animals: what relation?

Abstract : In late December 2019, an outbreak of clustered cases of pneumonia associated with a novel coronavirus was reported by the Chinese authorities to the World Health Organization (WHO). Several initial confirmed cases were linked to a wetmarket selling live animals and seafood products in Wuhan(Hubei province), China (Huang et al.,2020). On 30 January 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On 11 February 2020, the causative pathogen was officially named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (DuToit, 2020). Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 is mainly transmitted from person to person, by direct or indirect contact, through infectious microdroplets emitted wheninfected individuals spit, sneeze or cough (Bernard Stoecklin et al.,2020). The massive circulation of this new pandemiccoronavirus with a probable zoonotic origin raised questions on its ability to spillover to animal species and on the potential consequences of such events on both animals and humans. This public health concern came to the attention of animal health authorities given the close contacts between humans and domestic animals. Therefore, in France, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) established an Emergency Collective Expert Appraisal Group (Groupe d’Expertise Collective d’Urgence, GECU‘Covid-19’). The GECU ‘Covid-19’ urgently convened on 4 March 2020 and 8 April 2020 to conduct an evaluation of the potential role of domestic animals in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Elissa Khamisse, Charlotte Dunoyer, Meriadeg Ar Gouilh, Paul Brown, François Meurens, et al.. Opinion paper: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and domestic animals: what relation?. animal, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020, ⟨10.1017/S1751731120001639⟩. ⟨anses-02878618⟩

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