What are coronaviruses?
The CDC defines coronaviruses as “a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals.
Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.”
How is COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread?
The CDC says the disease is spread to humans through person-to person contact.
There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill or spreading the coronavirus in the U.S.
THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOUR PET
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Disinfect all surfaces that are frequently used.
Vaccinate your pets for all other potential diseases, as recommended by your veterinarian.
Limit contact with your pets if you or someone you are close to contracts the coronavirus.
CAN I CONTRACT COVID-19 FROM MY PET?
While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, the CDC believes there’s no reason to think any animals, including pets in the U.S. might be a source of infection.
To date, CDC has not received reports of companion animals sick with the coronavirus, and there’s no evidence they will be able to spread it to humans in the future. However, since animals can spread other diseases, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around them.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, for people or pets. Any animal showing serious illness needs to be seen by a veterinarian.
Can my pet contract the coronavirus from an infected person?
The CDC says anyone who is sick with the coronavirus should restrict contact with any animals just like you would around other people. If you or another family member contracts the virus, the CDC recommends having another member of your household care for your animal.
Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. 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 facemask.
Do we need to take extra precautions with animals that have recently been imported from China, or other infected countries?
There is no evidence that animals or animal products imported from China or other countries pose a risk of spreading coronavirus in the U.S.
All animals imported from infected countries will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the U.S. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread the coronavirus. Any animals recently imported from China or other countries affected by the coronavirus should be observed daily for signs of illness.
If an animal becomes ill, the CDC recommends bringing the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently in an infected country.
Made available by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, striving to advance the veterinary medical profession, promote animal health and protect public health.