Does Coronavirus effect pets?

There is a lot of speculation and concern over whether household pets can contract the virus. There is very little evidence that suggests this however the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests contact between them and an infected person may help transmit the virus.

The Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some can cause cold-like symptoms in people, while others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, infect only animals and do not infect humans.

Some coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes spread to humans and then transfer between people, but this is very rare. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are examples of diseases caused by coronaviruses. Both originated in animals and transferred to people. 

Due to not knowing the exact source of the virus it is difficult to know exactly what happened but what researchers do know is that the coronavirus that is most similar the virus causing COVID-19 is the same one that causes SARS. 

The CDC state there is no evidence to suggest any animals including pets, livestock or wildlife might be the source of the infection however; it’s always good practice to maintain healthy habits around pets and other animals. 

Stay healthy around animals is really important and easy to do. By doing the following you can do just that:

  • Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
  • Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
  • Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.

CDC are working with human and animal health partners to monitor this situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. 

For further information please check out the sites below;

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html

https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/

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