Coronavirus and Your Pets

The Coronavirus pandemic is enough to have everyone worldwide concerned about their health and safety, but what about your pets? How does the Coronavirus affect our pets whom we love so dearly? Unfortunately, there is still more to be learned about the Coronavirus and how it is transmitted as well as how we can fight this insidious virus. There is a lot of information on the internet about the virus and how it has spread across the globe, but little on whether this virus can be transmitted through different species. In Texas, there have been 17 cases where pets infected with Coronavirus although the source of their infection is unclear.

What the CDC has to say

 According to the Center for Disease Control, the Coronavirus can spread from animals to humans although it is rare when this happens. Decades of research have shown us what mechanisms allow viruses to mutate and jump from one species to the next. This is a common occurrence with the bird flu and swine flu that we have dealt with outbreaks in the last couple of decades. According to the CDC, the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been traveling around in its present form for the last forty years. They are still unsure what has caused the virus to mutate and so readily infect humans. 

What one research professor has to say about interspecies transmission.

 According to an article written by Trina Wood, who interviewed Dr. Nils Pedersen, a Professor Emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, an expert on infectious and immunologic diseases in dogs and cats, the simple answer is No.  According to Dr. Pedersen, the Coronavirus has been co-existing with humans and many different species of animals for about 50,000 years. The virus is already out there and interacts with multiple species. It is his weighted assessment that the coronavirus does not jump from species to species, it mutates from its already existing form and becomes more virulent as the disease progresses.

How to keep your pets safe during this pandemic.

 The CDC has listed some general information regarding the coronavirus. The information below was taken directly from the Centers for Disease Control website and will hopefully provide some guidance when it comes to caring for our pets and family members.

What you need to know:

  • A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
  • Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be small.
  • It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.
  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
  • If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

Living with the threat of COVID-19.

We live in uncertain times with the spread of diseases like COVID-19, SARS, and various influenza based diseases that periodically surface to claim thousands of lives every year, we must always keep in mind that personal protective gear and proper planning are our best defense against catching any of these dreaded diseases and passing them along to our friends and family. By taking the precautions to prevent the spread of this disease, we can avoid seeing more of our pets infected with Coronavirus.

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