April 2 update from Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 BY LIVESTOCK AND PETS
(Updated April 2, 2020) COVID-19 virus infections have become widely distributed in the human population. In some rare circumstances, some animals have become infected through close contact with infected humans.
Several dogs and cats have tested positive to COVID-19 virus following close contact with infected humans. Studies are underway to better understand the susceptibility of different animal species to the COVID-19 virus and to assess infection dynamics in susceptible animal species.
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of COVID-19. Human outbreaks are driven by person to person contact. Please see the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 in animals.
ANIMAL TO HUMAN TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19
The current spread of COVID-19 is as a result of human to human transmission. According to the OIE, there is no evidence that pets play a role in transmitting the disease to humans. Scientists are still trying to understand if and how it affects animals. This is an area that continues to be studied.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AROUND ANIMALS
As a precautionary measure, the CFIA recommends that people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case, should follow similar recommendations around animals, as they would around other people in these circumstances:
• avoid close contact with animals during your illness practise good handwashing and avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals
do not visit farms or contact livestock
• if possible, have another member of your household care for your animals if this is not possible, always wash your hands before and after touching animals, their food and supplies
• limit your animal’s contact with other people and animals outside the household until your illness is resolved
There is no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to people. The virus that causes COVID-19 most likely originated from an animal source in China, however, it is now spreading from person-to-person when there is direct contact (through droplets from coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with the virus on hands or surfaces) and not from contact with animals. ~B.C.C.D.C⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀