Coronavirus and Pets
At the moment, there’s little-to-no risk of pets transmitting the coronavirus to their human owners, with no specific evidence suggesting this type of transmission has ever happened. In Algeria, there has not been a single case of a pet diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the veterinarians community.
This article is dedicated to answer your most asked questions that concern animals and the Coronavirus.
Are there coronaviruses in animals?
Coronaviruses are common in several species of domestic and wild animals: cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and others. a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Also a cat in Belgium had traces of the virus’s genome in its stool and vomit.
Did this coronavirus spread from animals to humans?
To be perfectly clear: There is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to people.
Although not common, coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. Bats can be reservoir hosts for viruses which can cross species barriers to infect humans, other domestic and wild mammals.
Scientists think this coronavirus may have started with a “spillover event” from horseshoe bats in China that could have spread to other animals, which were then eaten by people , but it’s not confirmed yet !
Health officials are working to identify the animal source of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, now known officially as COVID-19 or CoronaVirus Disease. Investigations are ongoing.
COVID-19 virus and pets?
There is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading this human disease! Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against pets which may compromise welfare.
Laboratory studies suggest that, of the animal species investigated so far, cats are the most susceptible species for COVID-19. In the laboratory setting cats were able to transmit infection to other cats, also ferrets were able to transmit infection to other ferrets.
Dogs appear to be susceptible to infection but appear to be less affected than ferrets or cats.
Can the virus live on fur?
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2 can live on plastics for 72 hours, on stainless steel for 48 hours, on cardboard for 24 hours and on copper for 4 hours.
The AVMA says it is unlikely the virus can live on an animal’s fur, but there is not enough research to say that certainty.
In its emailed statement, the AVMA spokes person writes that smooth, non-porous surfaces such as countertops and doorknobs transmit viruses better than porous materials . Because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous, it is very unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet. However, it is always a good idea to practice good hygiene around animals, including washing your hands before and after interacting with them.
Can people spread the COVID-19 to animals?
The first case external icon of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 in the United States was a female tiger (Nadia) with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City. The zoo took a sample from Nadia to be tested for the SARS-CoV-2. The sample was analyzed at the University of Illinois and Cornell University, and the presumptive positive finding confirmed at a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Iowa.
Public health officials believe that it became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding the virus. This investigation is ongoing.
Also, apet dog in China contracted an infection from its 60-year-old owner who was first tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 25 and was hospitalized at the time according to the news report.
The centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with human and animal health partners to monitor this situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
How to protect your pet if you are sick?
If you are sick or showing symptoms (either suspected or confirmed) and you have to take care of your pet . It is recommended that you limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
The centers for disease control and prevention recommends avoiding snuggles or touching your pet, and washing your hands thoroughly before and after feeding.
If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
Author: Dr Rania Boublal.