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Are you Covid-positive? Stay away from your feline and pooch friends to avoid the risk of passing on the infection to them, suggests a study, which found that infection in pets is more common than thought.
The researchers from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands said that the most likely route of transmission is from human to pet, rather than the other way round.
"If you have Covid-19, you should avoid contact with your cat or dog, just as you would with other people," said Els Broens from the varsity.
"The main concern, however, is not the animals' health -- they had no or mild symptoms of Covid-19 -- but the potential risk that pets could act as a reservoir of the virus and reintroduce it into the human population.
"Fortunately, to date, no pet-to-human transmission has been reported. So, despite the rather high prevalence among pets from Covid-19 positive households in this study, it seems unlikely that pets play a role in the pandemic," Brown said
For the study, researchers studied 156 dogs and 154 cats of people who had tested positive for Covid-19. Six cats and seven dogs (4.2 per cent) had positive PCR tests and 31 cats and 23 dogs (17.4 per cent) tested positive for antibodies.
With pets in 40/196 households (20.4 per cent) having antibodies for the virus, the study reveals that Covid-19 is highly prevalent in pets of people who have had the disease.
A similar study led by Dorothee Bienzle, Professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada showed that cats that spent more time with their owners seemed to be at higher risk of infection than dogs. And cats that slept on their owner's bed were more likely to have Covid.
It is because cats' biology, including their viral receptors, the "locks" the virus unpicks to enter cells, make them more susceptible to Covid-19 than dogs. Cats are also more likely to sleep near their owner's face than dogs, increasing their exposure to any infection. Bienzle recommended keeping pets away from people with Covid and their pets.
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"While the evidence that pets can pass the virus on to other pets is limited, it can't be excluded. Similarly, although pets have not been shown to pass the virus back to people, the possibility can't be completely ruled out," she noted.
The studies were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) held online this year. (IANS/AD)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)