Can dogs, cats and other pets get COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible for animals to contract COVID from people, but there is a low chance that animals will transmit the virus to humans.
Most animals infected with the coronavirus had close contact with people with COVID, such as pet owners and caretakers, the CDC said online.
Reports of animals infected with COVID have been documented around the world, particularly in pets, zoo animals, mink on mink farms, and wild whitetail deer in the United States.
Although animals are capable of contracting and spreading COVID, health officials have said more studies are needed to find out if and how different animals are affected.
Based on current research, the CDC said there is no evidence that animals play a “significant role” in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. To animals.
“Some coronaviruses that infect animals can spread to people and then spread between people, but that’s rare. That’s what happened with SARS-CoV-2, which likely originated in bats” , the CDC website said.
Like humans, some animals with COVID are asymptomatic, though others may show signs of respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, health officials noted. Here are the possible symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- To sneeze
- Runny nose
- Eye discharge
The CDC has advised people with COVID to quarantine themselves away from animals when infected with the virus.
However, because the risk of pets transmitting the virus to humans is low, health officials have said necessary veterinary care for COVID-positive animals should not be denied.
Additionally, service animals must be allowed to stay with their handlers despite testing positive for COVID, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Could there ever be a coronavirus vaccine created for animals?
“Yes, there could be,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live event earlier this year.
Arwady explained, however, that health officials would like to see that COVID infections were “severe” in animals or that pets played a significant role in causing severe illness in humans.
“One of the reasons we have rabies vaccines is because rabies is a really deadly human disease and can be a problem there,” Arwady said.
Some animals have already been vaccinated against COVID, Arwady noted, although most of those cases have occurred in zoos.
For dogs and cats, Arwady said there is no routine coronavirus vaccination recommended at this time, and she does not expect there to be one. But dogs and cats that contract the virus are cause for concern for another reason.
“To me, the worry of seeing COVID not just in dogs and cats but in animals in general, that tells us that there is what we call an ‘animal reservoir for COVID-19’ and that means that that’s one of the most important things that makes it very unlikely that we’ll completely eradicate – let’s get rid of COVID. Because as long as there are animals capable of having it, there are, you know, it remains a risk,” Arwady said.
In February, a Chicago dog became the first in Illinois to test positive for COVID-19, according to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine.
The animal had been showing respiratory symptoms since early January and later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, according to a college press release.
The dog developed signs of respiratory illness about a week after the exposure, according to the veterinarian.