The COVID-19 virus, commonly referred to as Coronavirus, is dominating the news and has appeared in the US in recent weeks. The virus presents with cold and flu like symptoms, and can be dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Recently, a report from China indicated that a dog has tested positive for the disease. Should you worry about your pets, or about contacting Coronavirus from animals?
According to CNN and other news outlets, there is no need to be concerned. There are zero confirmed cases of dogs or cats able to spread the virus, and the dog in question showed no symptoms and only tested “weak positive.” The most likely scenario is that the animal is carrying the virus in the same way any other surface might. The virus survives on surfaces such as tabletops and doorknobs for a certain period of time. A dog may act in the same way as any other surface but not actually be infected. While certain types of diseases, such as skin infections or parasites, may pass between species, respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu, are generally not transmissible from dogs to humans, or vice versa.
The best practices right now to protect against COVID-19 or any other infection are to practice everyday healthy habits to prevent illness such as proper hand washing techniques.