Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Some coronaviruses cause respiratory illness , while others cause disease in certain animal species such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses like canine and feline coronaviruses only infect animals and do not infect humans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concurred that “there is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus”.
Risk Of Coronavirus To Pets
- In February a pet dog in Hong Kong tested ‘weak positive‘ for coronavirus and was placed into quarantine.
- The dog tested positive after remaining with its owners who were sick with the virus.
- The dog wasn’t showing any clinical signs of the disease, according to a report from World Organisation for Animal Health.
Risk to people
Some animal coronaviruses can infect humans and then spread between humans, but this is rare.
-Examples of coronavirus-related diseases that originate in animals and have spread to humans:
- acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
- respiratory syndrome in the Middle East (MERS).
The first infection was related to the live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person. The corona virus that is most similar to the virus that causes COVID-19 is the virus that causes SARS.
There is currently no evidence that a pet or other domestic animal, can spread COVID-19 or be a source of infection in the United States.
CDC Prevention Recommendations
To protect yourself the CDC recommends the following steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds!
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw it away.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Voluntary home isolation: If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, stay home. The CDC recommends that you remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100 degrees F) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Veterinary practices should designate their clinic as a temporary NO HANDSHAKE ZONE. Ask colleagues and clients to refrain from shaking hands.
The dangers of imported animals and animal products.
The CDC has no evidence that imported animals or products are dangerous for the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.
How to stay healthy around Pets
There is currently no evidence in the United States that a pet , farm animals, or wildlife, may be a source of COVID-19 infection.
However, since all animals can carry disease-causing germs, it is always a good idea to practice healthy habits with pets and other animals.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after handling animals, food, waste, or supplies.
- Pay attention to the correct hygiene and cleanliness of pets.
- Bring pets to the vet regularly and talk to the vet if you have any questions about your pet’s health.
How to protect animals in case of illness.
- If you have (suspected or confirmed) COVID-19, you should limit contact with pets and other animals, such as other people.
- it is recommended that people with COVID-19 restrict contact with animals so that more information about the virus is known. This can help ensure good health for you and your pets.
- If possible, have another family member take care of your pets during illness.
- Avoid touching your pet, including petting, hugging, kissing, licking, and sharing food.
- If you need to care for your pet or be with animals during illness, wash your hands before and after interacting with them.