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Role of Pets in COVID-19 Transmission

05/17/2020

Anecdotal and verified reports of a few cases of COVID-19 in cats and dogs have surfaced since the advent of the pandemic.  Given the numbers of infected people and the proportion of pets in households, it does not appear that domestic pets either susceptible or are a factor in introducing infection into a home.  Initial studies suggest that pets acquire infection from humans.

The University of Washington Center for Pandemic Preparedness has initiated a structured evaluation of the epidemiologic relationship between owners and their pets.  The study will enroll families with one or more member having been diagnosed with COVID-19 and will test pets including dogs, cats, ferrets and hamsters for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

Clearly if households are following strict quarantine at home, pets should not be allowed to roam. 

 

Previous studies conducted by an institute in Germany confirmed that chickens and hogs are refractory to SARS-CoV-2 and are not involved in the epidemiology of the infection.