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Living during covid-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some of them cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels and bats.
The coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to humans and then spread between people, but this is rare.
However the canine and feline coronaviruses, infect only animals and not humans.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are examples of diseases, caused by coronaviruses that originated in animals and spread to people. This is what is suspected to have happened with the virus that caused the current outbreak of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, we do not know the exact source of this virus. Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of COVID-19.
The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person. The coronavirus most similar to the virus causing COVID-19 is the one that causes SARS.

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with infected people.
Only a few of the animals reported to be positive showed signs of illness.

We do know so far that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking.
Recent studies show that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low, confirms CDC.

People Spreading the Virus to Animals

Although we are still learning about this virus, according to experts it appears plausible to be spread from people to animals, in some situations.
CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with infected people.
Only a few of the animals reported to be positive showed signs of illness.

The first case in the United States of an animal testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City.
Samples from this tiger were collected and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed signs of respiratory illness. Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. This investigation is ongoing.
A 17-years old Pomeranian dog, died on March 16 in Hong-Kong, which contracted a “low-level” COVID-19 infection, from her owner.
The genetic makeup of the virus found in people and the virus found in the woman’s Pomeranian, appeared similar,  reported the AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department).

“The (gene) sequence results, indicate that the virus likely spread from the infected persons and subsequently infected the dog”.


The Pomeranian received a serological test on March 3 which came back negative for coronavirus-specific antibodies, but that does not mean its diagnosis was wrong, the AFCD noted.

“It is known in some asymptomatic or mild cases of human infections with other types of coronavirus that antibodies may not always develop”.

In other words, the dog’s mild immune response may not have been enough to trigger the generation of antibodies.
Dogs and cats also contracted low-level infections of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) during the 2003 outbreak, animal health expert Vanessa Barrs from City University told the South China Morning Post. Importantly, there was no evidence of viral transmission from pet dogs or cats to humans, Barrs added.
“Previous experience with SARS suggests that cats and dogs will not become sick or transmit the virus to humans.
At that time, a small number of pets tested positive but none became sick,” she said. “Importantly, there was no evidence of viral transmission from pet dogs or cats to humans,” Barrs added.

The CDC (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. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.

FAQ

Can i get covid-19 from pets

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. A small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19.
Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Can animals carry the virus on their fur/skin

Although we know certain bacteria and fungi can be carried on fur and hair, there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.
However, because animals can sometimes carry other germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, including washing hands before and after interacting with them.

Should i avoid contact with pets if i am sick

We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations. Until we learn more about this new coronavirus, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including: Petting, Snuggling, Being kissed or licked, Sharing food or bedding.
If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a cloth face covering.

What animals can get covid-19

We don’t know for sure which animals can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. A tiger and few lions, at a zoo in New York has also tested positive for the virus.
Recent research shows that ferrets, cats, and golden Syrian hamsters can be experimentally infected with the virus and can spread the infection to other animals of the same species in laboratory settings.
Pigs, chickens and ducks did not become infected or spread the infection based on results from these studies. Data from one study suggested dogs are not as likely to become infected with the virus as cats and ferrets. These findings were based on a small number of animals, and do not show whether animals can spread infection to people.
At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.

Should i worry about my cat

CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
Most of these animals had contact with a person with COVID-19.
A tiger at a New York zoo has also tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, typically through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking.
People sick with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from other people and animals, including pets, during their illness until we know more about how this virus affects animals.
If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

Can i walk my dog

Walking a dog is important for both animal and human health and well-being. Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (1.8 meter) from other people and animals, do not gather in groups and stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Do not go to dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
To help maintain social distancing, do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.

What to do if my pet contracted the covid-19

There is a small number of animals around the world reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after having contact with a person with COVID-19.
Talk to your veterinarian about any health concerns you have about your pets.
If your pet gets sick after contact with a person with COVID-19, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself.
Call your veterinarian and let them know the pet was around a person with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets.
Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.

Is it safe to adopt a pet from a shelter

Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. There is no reason to think that any animals, including shelter pets, play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can wild animals and bats contaminate people & pets

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest the virus that causes COVID-19 is circulating in free-living wildlife in the United States, or that wildlife might be a source of infection for people in the United States. The first case of a wild animal testing positive for the virus in the United States was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City.
However, this tiger was in a captive zoo environment and public health officials believe the tiger became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was infected and spreading the virus.
If a wild animal were to become infected with the virus, we don’t know whether the infection could then spread among wildlife or if it could spread to other animals, including pets.
Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including wildlife, could be affected by COVID-19.
Because wildlife can carry other diseases, even without looking sick, it is always important to enjoy wildlife from a distance.

Measures to prevent getting sick from wildlife

  1. Keep your family, including pets, a safe distance away from wildlife.
  2. Do not feed wildlife or touch wildlife droppings.
  3. Always wash your hands and supervise children washing their hands after working or playing outside.
  4. Leave orphaned animals alone. Often, the parents are close by and will return for their young.
  5. Consult your state wildlife agency’s guidance if you are preparing or consuming legally harvested game meat.
  6. Do not approach or touch a sick or dead animal – contact your state wildlife agency instead.

Reference to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#COVID-19-and-Animals

About Post Author

Reactif canin

Passionate advocate of Positive Reinforcement, Operant Conditioning and force-free training methods. Studied at Karen Pryor Academy, Ethology Institute Cambridge, Canine Principles Academy and Centre Of Excellence. Being responsible for an animal, consists on creating scenarios that build his self-confidence, helps him to discover his strengths and competences, to trust us and not fear of us. After all, a dog is a dog, a unique individual, who needs and must act like one and by expressing his natural behaviours! We must consider the relationship with our dog as parental, rather than this of the master and subordinate. Dogs, similarly to children, see us as their "role model" for guiding them to their new life, with us. Our role is not to dominate them, but to establish a symbiotic relationship with them. Let us be worthy of this role!

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