Animal bites continue to pose major public health challenges. Since publication of the previous report1 on this topic for this series in 1988, much has been researched and reported regarding animal bites among populations of humans. The intent of this article was not to exhaustively review all literature published since 1988, but to focus on aspects of animal bites (dog and cat bites in particular) that were novel or noteworthy with respect to previously unrecognized injuries or cause of death2–7 or bite-wound pathogens,8–10 the role of individual organisms in polymicrobial infections,11 risk
Rabies is a fatal viral zoonosis and serious public health problem.1 All mammals are believed to be susceptible to the disease, and for the purposes of this document, use of the term animal refers to mammals. The disease is an acute, progressive encephalitis caused by viruses in the genus Lyssavirus.2 Rabies virus is the most important lyssavirus globally. In the United States, multiple rabies virus variants are maintained in wild mammalian reservoir populations such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Although the United States has been declared free from transmission of canine rabies virus
To establish a pathoepidemiological model to evaluate the role of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first 10 companion animals that died while infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the US.
10 cats and dogs that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and died or were euthanized in the US between March 2020 and January 2021.
A standardized algorithm was developed to direct case investigations, determine the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and evaluate the role, if any, that SARS-CoV-2 infection played in the animals’ course of disease and death. Using clinical and diagnostic information collected by state animal health officials, state public health veterinarians, and other state and local partners, this algorithm was applied to each animal case.
SARS-CoV-2 was an incidental finding in 8 animals, was suspected to have contributed to the severity of clinical signs leading to euthanasia in 1 dog, and was the primary reason for death for 1 cat.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
This report provides the global community with a standardized process for directing case investigations, determining the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and determining the clinical significance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals with fatal outcomes and provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can, in rare circumstances, cause or contribute to death in pets.