This virus is unfortunately very efficient in transmitting human to human. The presence of the positive test from the cat in the presence of an infected household doesn’t increase concern and animals still aren’t considered to play a significant role in this disease. Elanco Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shabbir Simjee, described this as transient colonization, which means the virus, while present, was not able to sufficiently stick to dogs’ host cells and therefore would be gone from the animal within a few hours. This reinforces what we’re hearing from organizations like the CDC and WHO, which say that there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs can be infected by or spread COVID-19.
It is unlikely for COVID-19 to adapt itself following instances of infection in animals such as dogs and cats, and then transfer to people. There is currently no evidence that domestic animals, including dogs and cats, can become sick with this new coronavirus.
This particular cat showed symptoms one week after its owner got sick with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 was found in its feces. It’s not clear what test was used – if it was a test for the live virus, detection for SARS-CoV02 genetic material, or another test. It’s also not clear whether the cat was sick because of the infection with SARS-CoV-2 or if it was due to something else and just coincidentally timed. This is another possible case of human-to-animal transmission, and not the other way around.
Current research links COVID-19 to certain types of bat as the original source, but does not exclude the involvement of other animals. Several types of coronaviruses can infect animals and can be transmitted to other animals and people. As a general precaution, it is always wise to observe basic principles of hygiene when in contact with animals. While there has been a report of human-to-cat transmission of COVID-19 in Belgium, there have been no reports of pets passing the virus to humans. The fact remains that human-to-pet transmission has not been identified as a significant path of viral spread.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Many forms of coronaviruses exist, including those that infect cats and dogs. These canine- and feline-specific coronaviruses and their respective types (or groups) have no history of infecting people and are not related to the current COVID-19 crisis. While there have been isolated instances of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) detection in both dogs and cats, at this time the only transmission process that’s been confirmed is from infected humans to cats, not from infected cats to humans.
- Several types of coronaviruses can infect animals and can be transmitted to other animals and people.
- As a general precaution, it is always wise to observe basic principles of hygiene when in contact with animals.
- Current research links COVID-19 to certain types of bat as the original source, but does not exclude the involvement of other animals.
- The fact remains that human-to-pet transmission has not been identified as a significant path of viral spread.
Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-
At present, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations (CDC, OIE, WHO) agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people. MSU is closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirusPer the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence to suggest that companion animals can spread COVID-19 and has received no reports of pets becoming sick with the virus.
To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. EFSA has also confirmed that there is currently ‘no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus’. The FAO has stated that ‘meat from healthy livestock that is cooked thoroughly remains safe to eat’. The risk of infection is higher in areas with the virus currently circulating, meaning where many people are infected by it.
Two pet dogs and one cat in Hong Kong have tested positive for the virus but did not show any signs of illness. At this time, there have been no reports of livestock being infected by COVID-19. This situation is being monitored very closely κορονοιος and any new information on the ability of the virus to cause illness in pets or other domestic animals will be updated as it becomes available. The OIE confirms that the current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission.