Can Pets Transmit the Corona Virus

30 marzo 2020

“At this time there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19” – College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois

Since news reports about a dog having been tested positive for corona virus infection in Hong Kong, many started wondering if any precautions had to be taken to keep their beloved four-legged friends safe from COVID-19 and how to protect themselves against contracting it from them, too.

Covid 19 mask with dog

The Good News First #

There is no proof of any risk, say virologists from the renowned German Research Institute for Animal Health (Friedrich-Löffler-Institute, FLI). It is certainly true that the new corona virus SARS-CoV-2, also called COVID-19, originates from an animal source, or more precisely from a bat. Zoonosis is what scientists call a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people or, more specifically, that normally exists in animals but that can infect humans.

Girl with cat and mask

The Facts #

  • So far, there is no evidence to suggest that pets or livestock are at risk to catch the COVID-19 virus.
  • Also, there is no evidence that cats or dogs present any infection risk for humans.
  • No safety measures like separating pets from humans or putting them under quarantine are currently being recommended by experts.
Little girl with french bulldog and mask

All-Clear Given by WHO Experts #

In the FAQ section of their website, WHO experts give an all-clear, too. “No. There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19” is their answer.

How Can a Dog Test Positive if It Can’t Get the Disease? #

Now, you might wonder if virologists find it unlikely for a pet to catch the corona virus, how could a dog test positive in the first place? As we now know the animal was in close contact with its owner who did indeed carry the virus and was therefore most probably shedding large quantities of it. This is how the virus got into the dog’s nose. Simply put, the animal was like yet another surface contaminated by COVID-19, but without being infected nor diseased. There is, however, no sign of the animal being ill or showing any symptoms.

Conclusion #

No, your pet doesn’t have to wear a face mask – and neither have you (unless you contract the virus) because it is known that, although it might calm your mind, it doesn’t help to keep you from contracting corona. Only if you are a carrier of the virus a face mask helps to prevent spreading it.

To find out all you need to know about COVID-19, read our in-depth article>> What to Know about COVID-19

Sources #


30 marzo, 2020


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