Can pets spread COVID-19?

Source: KALB
Source: KALB(KALB)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:55 PM CDT
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There have been a lot of questions lately about pets becoming infected and spreading the coronavirus.

Right now, research shows that your beloved cat or dog can't spread the virus to other animals or humans, according to the Center for Disease Control and other animal health organizations.

However, even with tests and studies showing no connection between animal-to-person spread, the general public should still use caution because animals' fur could become what's called a "fomite". It's defined as an object or material likely to carry infection.

Dr. Chris Thomson, with the Montgomery Animal Hospital in Pineville, explains that there is some concern when it comes to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 being around pets. Thomson says that the main concern comes from an infected person sneezing or coughing on a pet.

"Then the pet's fur may hold the virus for a period of time," said Thomson.

He also says that's no different than someone sneezing or coughing on something like a countertop and having another person touch that same surface afterward.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, thousands of cats and dogs have been tested and shown no positive results so far.

It's suggested that people who do test positive for COVID-19 should limit their contact with animals. Along with taking basic sanitary measures, like washing your hands, after an interaction. Having someone else take care of our pet for a while is also an option.

Veterinarians around the nation and in Central Louisiana are taking precautions by limiting their services to curbside visits and discontinuing non-emergency procedures until further notice.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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