Here are some important facts, resources, and links regarding pets and the Coronavirus pandemic. Can our pets become infected? Can it be spread from humans to our pets?
From the American Veterinary Medical Association LINK
- The betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV).
Person-to-person spread has been reported in numerous countries, including the United States. Some popular international destinations, including the United States, also appear to have community spread.
- Transmission seems to occur when there is contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze.
There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by FDA to treat COVID-19, and there is no immunization available.
- For most people in the United States, the immediate risk of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be low, but the CDC considers the virus a very serious public health threat.
- The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.
- Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
- Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.
- As always, careful handwashing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ (NASPHV) compendium of standard precautions is a good reference for appropriate infection control in veterinary practices.
Additional resource: Traveling with pets with Covid-19
Quarantine the cat? Disinfect the dog? The latest advice about the coronavirus and your pets – From Science Mag – LINK
From their Q & A
Q: Can we pass the new coronavirus to our pets?
A: The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from humans to humans. There is no research to support human to animal spread at this time. Samples from the Hong Kong dog had a small number of virus particles present. In an animal with no clinical signs of disease, it’s hard to say what this means. It was a single case, and we learned that we need to do a lot more research into the potential of the human SARS-CoV-19 virus to infect animals.
That said, cats and dogs are mammals too. They have many of the same types of receptors on their cells that we do. So the virus could theoretically attach to these receptors. But will it enter their cells and replicate? Probably not.
Still, people infected with SARS-CoV-19 should limit contact with their pets. Wash your hands, and don’t let them lick you on the face. If the virus is in your secretions, and there’s any potential of transmission, these are ways it could be transmitted.
Coronavirus and Pets: FAQ for Owners from University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign – LINK
From their Q&A
Can dogs get the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?
At this time, experts believe it is very unlikely. The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. The OIE states there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this disease or that they become sick. The CDC also seconds that opinion, stating that, “At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters – LINK – from the World Health Organization
From their Q&A
The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
Coronavirus Global Tracking – LINK