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COVID-19 is a real-life horror movie of unknown origin which like AIDS, Ebola, diphtheria, HIV, polio, SARS and typhoid, is sure to keep medical theorists busy!


March 17, 2020

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, SAAB Member


Appropriately, on Friday the 13th, Healthline reported “The new coronavirus, officially called SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19. The death toll … is now around 4,900.” Another headline reminded us that “human coronavirus was responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. has learned that this form of corona virus may have originated in bats. Shi Zhengli, a top virologist identified deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves but the caves are not close to the live food market in China which is said to be the epicenter of the outbreak. In January 2020 Dr. Peter Daszak said “We don’t know the source yet, but there’s pretty strong evidence that this is a bat origin coronavirus.” He’s been working in China for 15 years and his specialty is studying diseases that jump from animals to people.


We’ve been overwhelmed with questions such as ‘Can I catch COVID-19 from my dog that just got corona vaccine?’ and ‘Is it airborne or only by contact?’


The SARS and MERS epidemics were also caused by bat coronaviruses. But how has corona virus spread so rapidly? As of mid-March 2020 the mode of transmission is either unknown or non-disclosed. While it is true that coronaviruses are zoonotic diseases, meaning they jump from animals to humans, that is not the case here. Ignore the pass-arounds saying you can catch corona virus from your dog when the corona vaccine fails. One of our veterinary staff responded, “the odds of catching COVID-19 from a dog are worth a trip to Vegas.


The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China (a city of over 11 million people) was first said to be the epicenter of the 2020 corona virus. But within days, it was no longer referred to as the origination point of the epidemic. We don’t use that fearful “epidemic” word lightly. COVID-19 is of epidemic proportions and as of this writing, the virus continues to spread around the globe.


We called Overhill Kennels and Quarantine {Ref #1} in Bristol England. The owner is Meg Carpenter, a busy international dog show judge, one of the most globally informed people I know. She is also a dear friend. Yes, the Overhill Kennels and Exports is in quarantine. Overhill is an internationally respected quarantine facility, so the irony was chilling. She said “The whole of the U.K. is in quarantine” and yes, they are worried…


The U.S. has acted quickly and accordingly. Schools are shut down, big-box stores and supermarket shelves are barren. President Trump approved drive-through COVID-19 testing as was begun in South Korea. Corporate America from big box stores to churches and health facilities, responded heroically. By Saturday they were “lined up around the block” literally. Testing Labs are on 24-hour shifts.


To the many questions we have had regarding the viral “attack” on elderly people and does that apply to dogs we asked our Science And Advisory Board {Ref #2}. As of this time, there have been no reports of corona-related illness in other mammals.


Looking backwards in order to obtain a better view is always a good idea. Being an ostrich with your head in the sand is not! I have in front of me a clipping from People magazine dated Jan 20 in which Dr. Webby PhD says we’re “above the baseline” and he explains that “Influenza A starts as an animal virus, then jumps over to humans.” He advises “Anyone 6 months or older needs to get a flu vaccine.


Okay, we get the message. Get the flu shot, even if you’ve had one already. The presumption is “This flu is different” and indeed it is. But wait, in 2009 “there was swine flu pandemic, which is estimated to have killed between 151,000 and 575,000 people worldwide.” ~ Live


"The H1N1 flu virus that caused a pandemic has now become just another seasonal flu virus." So does each mutation or new type of influenza run out of steam after having motivated people to rush to get vaccinated – or does the vaccine block the disease and thus the viruses (which are smarter than you would think) give up and go away? Do they die of old age? What happens to viruses?


According to multiple sources “viruses can’t die (because) they aren’t alive in the first place. They contain genetic instructions in the form of DNA … viruses can’t thrive independently. Instead, they must invade a host organism and hijack its genetic instructions.” ~ Science Focus {Ref #3}


It doesn’t matter whether the coronavirus came from bats or the Wuhan live foods market, we have no immunity to COVID-19. On the positive side, Americans are strong and have excellent doctors, brave nurses and hospital workers.


We came through Ebola virus and we will in this case, self-quarantine.  We had comparatively few deaths from Typhoid Fever in 1907. The “Spanish flu” in 1918 took over 600,000 lives before we released a vaccine. Diphtheria in the 1920’s killed 15,000 – but we developed a vaccine. Polio killed or crippled thousands in the late 1950’s but the polio vaccine stopped it. Children rarely died from measles but we were on a roll and the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963. Whooping cough hit again in 2010 and is considered the new norm, mutating every 3 to 5 years. It can be fatal in infants. In the 1980s HIV and AIDS hit America hard but thankfully, with education, the infection rate has fallen 19% since 2005.


To provide perspective, in 2016 the CDC reported “a total of 28,616 cases of EVD and 11,310 deaths reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. There were an additional 36 cases and 15 deaths that occurred when the outbreak spread outside of these three countries.


Stay home as much as possible. Wear a mask when you have to go out but MOST IMPORTANT remember that corona virus is spread by direct contact so take a packet of hand sanitizers and use them every time you handle something outside of your home. Or better yet, if you must go out, wear gloves and do not touch your face.


Reference & Related Articles and Information, dig for gold below (opens in window)

{1} Overhill Kennels and Quarantine


{2} Science And Advisory Board


{3} Science Focus EST 2002 © 2003



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