For the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, two pet cats have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the Associated Press, two cats in New York contracted the virus from people living in their households.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that while the pets can contract coronavirus, there is no evidence that they can transmit the disease to humans.
“Now, obviously, is that impossible? I mean, biologically, no, anything is possible,” Fauci said. “But there’s no evidence whatsoever that we’ve seen from an epidemiological standpoint that pets can be transmitters within a household.”
But while there is no evidence that the disease can transmit from animals to humans, the CDC is encouraging people to keep their pets from interacting with other animals or people that are not in their usual homes.
From the report:
Still, the CDC is recommending that people prevent their pets from interacting with people or animals outside their homes — by keeping cats indoors and dogs out of dog parks, for instance. Coronavirus testing for pets isn’t recommended unless an animal has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and the animal has symptoms of the disease — and tests have ruled out more common possible causes, said Dr. Jane Rooney of the USDA.
Veterinarians who think testing is warranted are supposed to contact state officials to decide. Barton Behravesh said the animal tests are done at veterinary labs and use different chemicals than human tests, which have been in short supply during the crisis.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 47,900 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.