A new study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada has bizarrely claimed that dogs in China may be responsible for transmitting coronavirus to humans. As per the study report, stray dogs in China might have got coronavirus infection after eating bat meat, later transmitting the pathogen to humans.

Are dogs responsible for coronavirus outbreak?

Scientists had previously hypothesized that coronavirus might have originated on bats. However, bats and humans do not interact with each other, and it has made experts believe that another animal is also involved in this deadly pandemic outbreak. 

Dog coronavirus
Dogs transmitted coronavirus to humansPixabay

"Our observations have allowed the formation of a new hypothesis for the origin and initial transmission. The ancestor of COVID-19 and its nearest relative, a bat coronavirus, infected the intestine of dogs, most likely resulting in the rapid evolution of the virus and its jump into humans. This suggests the importance of monitoring SARS-like coronaviruses in feral dogs in the fight against COVID-19," said Xuhua Xia, the lead author of the study, in a recent statement.

Lack of evidence questions authenticity of the study

However, several experts have already started questioning the authenticity of this study report. As per these experts, the computer study on the genome model presented by the University of Ottawa is wrong as it is just a hypothesis, and there are no substantial pieces of evidence to back their claims.

Veterinary experts assure that there are no reasons to stay away from dogs to combat the outspread of coronavirus. In an article published on CNN, professor James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge in the UK revealed that dog owners need not worry about the recent study report that has surfaced online.

"I do not believe that any dog owners should be concerned as a result of this work. I do not see anything in this paper to support this supposition and am concerned that this paper has been published in this journal," said Wood.

Claim reviewed :

Dogs spread coronavirus

Fact Check :

False, as the new study report is just a hypothesis, and it lacks ample evidence.