New Delhi, May 25: The origin of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19 infection, remains a mystery. Many scientists and experts believe coronavirus most likely came from an animal, likely a bat. However, there is no data-based scientific evidence that suggest animals, including domestic animals like cat and dogs, can largely transmit coronavirus to humans. But, messages claiming pet animals can spread coronavirus to people are going viral on social media. COVID-19 Vaccine for Animals: Russia Registers 'World's First' Coronavirus Vaccine Carnivac-Cov for Dogs, Cats and Minks.

"COVID-19 spread from animals to humans is rumour. There's no document proving it," veterinarian Dr Sandeep Singh told news agency ANI. He added that he did not develop any COVID-19 symptoms after treating animals during the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country. Dr Singh urged pet parents not to abandon their pets. Dr Ishwar Gilada, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, echoed similar views on alleged transmission of coronavirus from pets to animals. Eight Asiatic Lions at Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park Test Positive for COVID-19: From Minks, Cats to Dogs, Here Is What We Know About Coronavirus in Animals.

"People without looking at any scientific proof started leaving their pets on streets. I appeal to people to not act on such misinformation and to not forward such messages," Dr Gilada said. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 infection to people.

"Based on the available information to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low," the CDC says on its website. The US agency, like the World Health Organisation (WHO), also indicated that the vice-versa i.e. transmission of COVID-19 from humans to animals can be possible. "There have been reports of animals infected with the virus worldwide. Most of these animals became infected after contact with people with COVID-19," says the CDC.

Last month, WHO representative to Russia Melita Vujnovic confirmed that there is a possibility of transmission of COVID-19 from humans to cats, dogs, minks, raccoon dogs, lions and tigers. Meanwhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA has also said that there has been no reported case of transmission of COVID-19 from animals to human beings.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 25, 2021 05:23 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).