Information regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) is constantly evolving as scientists learn more. We will do our best to keep the information here up-to-date, but it is not possible to stay up-to-the-minute with the new information as it comes out. Please visit the official CDC, VA Dept of Health, and other websites for the latest information through the links below.
The following information is from several sources including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the VA Department of Health (VDH), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and is up-to-date as of April 30, 2020. Please keep in mind that any of this information can change at any moment as more is learned about the virus.
CDC: COVID-19 in Animals
VDH: Animals and COVID-19
OIE: COVID-19 FAQ
KEY POINTS from the CDC
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others cause illness in certain types of animals.
- Some coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to people, but this is rare.
- We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The first infections were thought to be linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now primarily spreading from person to person.
- 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.
- We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.
- The first case of an animal testing positive for the virus in the United States was in a tiger that had a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City.
- CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
- Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
- Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by the virus that causes COVID-19 and the role animals may play in the spread of COVID-19.
- This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
- For more information, see COVID-19 and Animals Frequently Asked Questions.
- What precautionary measures should I take? When handling and caring for animals, basic hygiene measures should always be implemented. This includes hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking or sharing food.
When possible, people who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of their household care for their animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.
The Doctors and Staff of Seven Hills Animal Hospital