(ABC4) – Hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last year, but the CDC says we are not alone.
According to a new report, nearly 100 pet dogs and cats are said to have contracted the virus, mostly after close contact with a person with COVID-19.
“Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household,” the CDC advises. “Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.”
The CDC says it appears that COVID-19 can spread from pets to animals “in some situations.” Infected pets might get sick or they might not have any symptoms, adding that of those that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered.
In turn, the CDC says the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
The CDC recommends pet owners limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading to the animals. They offer these additional tips to keep you and your pets safe:
- Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
- Pets or other animals should not be allowed to roam freely around the facility, and cats should be kept indoors.
- Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
- Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.
They add that there is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from their pet’s skin, fur, or hair. According to the CDC, you should not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products like hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners. If you have questions about appropriate products for bathing or cleaning your pet, the CDC says to contact your veterinarian.
If your dog or cat or any other pet gets sick, or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, the CDC says you should contact your veterinarian.
The CDC adds that if you are sick with COVID-19, either suspected or confirmed by a test, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just as you would with people.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
If you are sick with COVID-19, and your pet becomes sick, the CDC advises that you do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Instead, contact your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some clinics may offer telemedicine conulstations or other plans for seeing sick pets.
At this time, the CDC says there has been no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. But, because all animals can carry germs that can make you and other people sick, the CDC says it is always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.
- Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
- Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the infection of animals with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – has implications for animal and human health, animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and biomedical research.
The latest findings have found that poultry and cattle are not susceptible to COVID-19 infection.
Utah is one of a number of states who have seen its mink population affected by COVID-19.
In mid-December, a wild mink living in the area of an infected Utah farm tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Officials say this is the first free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with SARS-CoV-2, to the best of their knowledge.