OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Humane Society is addressing the concerns of pet owners following positive COVID-19 cases in some animals.
Several lions and tigers in the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus. The first tiger became infected after interacting with a staff member who was positive for the virus.
Two domestic cats in New York have also tested positive for COVID-19.
The symptoms in these confirmed positive pets have been very mild and have not warranted hospitalization.
Although it is true that some pets such as cats, hamsters and ferrets might develop mild illness (dry cough) if exposed to a person with COVID-19, there is currently no evidence to suggest that pets can transmit it to people.
Worldwide, only 4 companion animals have tested positive for COVID-19: Two dogs in China and two cats in New York. All animals have fully recovered.
All evidence strongly suggests that humans are spreading the disease to the animals, not the other way around.
There is currently no evidence that a human has caught COVID-19 from their pet. This is supported by a study at University of Calgary -Dr. Rebecca Archer, research in China, and backed by the World Health Organization’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.
Do not be afraid of your furry animal member, especially during this pandemic. Animals can provide a great source of emotional support and comfort.
But, if you test positive or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, it is strongly recommended that you limit your interaction with your pets.
Direct interaction includes: Caring for your pet (feeding/watering), sleeping with or snuggling, grooming, walking and holding.
There is the possibility that you may transfer the virus to your pet.
If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, it is recommended that you contact your doctor and self-isolate from your pets and humans in your home.
It is important to have an emergency plan in place for your animals in the event that you are unable to care for your pet.
If it is impossible for someone else to provide daily care for your pet, it is recommended that you wear a mask and gloves. As always, keep surfaces clean and sanitized.
If you are worried about your animal, contact your vet. Routine animal testing is not recommended at this time.