A Nationwide Pandemic for Humans, but Can Animals Contract the Coronavirus?

A Nationwide Pandemic for Humans, but Can Animals Contract the Coronavirus?

Sarah Jannings

UNITED STATES- With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus sweeping its way across the United States, it leaves only pet owners to wonder, “Can my pet contract the coronavirus too?” I am here to assure that according to the Center of Disease and Control Prevention, (CDC) there is no current evidence, except in very rare cases, that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. 

Furthermore, there is also no current evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products imported pose a risk for spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. According to CDC, “Some coronaviruses that infect animals have become able to infect humans and then spread between people, but this is rare. 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. However, no one at this time knows the exact source of this virus. CDC also states that “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.” 

Nonetheless, because animals can still carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a smart idea to practice healthy habits around your own pets and other animals. The CDC recommends: 

 

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

Most importantly, if you start to feel sick, you should restrict your contact with your pets or other animals, just like you would other people during this time of social distancing. The CDC states, “Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.” 

Have another member of the household take care of your pet and make sure to wash your hands before and after interacting with them to prevent the spread of germs. In this way, pet owners, there is no need to worry yet about the possibility of your pet contracting the coronavirus, but in the meantime, stay safe and don’t expose yourself or your pet to situations that could be dangerous for either of your health. 

Works Cited:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/animals.html

 

Image Citation:

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/dogs+horses?ref_context=keyword