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Two dogs, one cat have COVID-19

The American Veterinary Medical Association has confirmed that two dogs in Hong Kong and one cat in Belgium have tested positive for COVID-19.   The animals live with people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and it is believed the owners gave the virus to their pets.

The AMVA cautions that this is a very small number of pets who appear to have been infected by their owners.  They also note that to date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.  Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations continue to agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that, under natural conditions, pets spread COVID-19 to people.

There is also a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York which tested positive for COVID-19, one of several big cats which show signs of the virus.   That tiger caught COVID-19 from her keeper.

The AMVA says if you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your animals as you normally would, including feeding and otherwise caring for them. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your animals, including handling of food, supplies, and waste; keep feed, water, and any supplies used to deliver them clean; remove soiled bedding and replace as appropriate).

The organization also advises that if you are ill with COVID-19 you should not have contact with pets or other animals, just as you would not with people.  If possible, somebody else should feed and care for any animals.  If you must be around an animal, wear a cloth facemask and try to stay many feet away from the animal, and wash your hands before and after any contact.

Photo of a German Shepherd courtesy of wikimedia commons

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