A veterinarian on a This Morning daytime television show responded to concerns about whether humans can get coronavirus from their pets.
The program’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Scott Miller, reassured viewers that they couldn’t catch the disease directly from a pet – but said they should be aware that the fur on animals could act as a “surface” for transmission between humans.
Dr. Scott said, “At this time, we don’t think cats can, or any animal, send it back to us from the initial infection.
“Now, we don’t believe at all that dogs or cats can pass it on to us as an infected host.
“What concerns us is that they may be able to surface – so if someone with Covid-19 coughs on their dog and then walks it, then you pet their dog and then touch their face, you could potentially pick up Covid-19 this way – although the odds are very very low.
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Program host Phillip Schofield raised the topic, saying there have been concerns since a tiger at a New York zoo tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend.
Dr. Scott added: “This case with the tiger – there was also one in a domestic cat in Belgium – where this cat actually showed symptoms of coronavirus, that is to say respiratory symptoms and diarrhea.
“Its owner had a coronavirus, both were tested and found to be positive, but both have since recovered.
“There is some concern and it is something that the veterinary profession will monitor, but it really boils down to good hygiene, and don’t touch other people’s pets yet. “
A tiger in a New York zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first known case of Covid-19 in an American animal or tiger anywhere, according to zoo officials.
How to protect yourself from coronavirus around animals
- Observe social distance from other pet owners as you would any other person
- Do not touch other people’s pets
- Do not let other people outside the home touch your pet
- Wash your hands regularly before and after contact with animals, especially before eating and touching your face
- Avid all non-essential trips to the vet
- If you get sick with a coronavirus, make sure someone else in the household carries your pet for you
- If you are walking someone else’s pet for yourself or for yourself, you must be within two meters of the other person when you hand over the pet.
A four-year-old Malaysian tiger named Nadia and six other lions and tigers are said to have fallen ill at the Bronx Zoo.
Officials said the first animal started showing symptoms on March 27 and tested positive for the virus.
All lions and tigers are expected to recover, according to the zoo, which has been closed since March 16.
There have been reports of pets outside the United States infected with the virus, which has killed more than 9,500 Americans and infected more than 333,000.
In February, a dog in Hong Kong was reported to have tested positive for a low level of virus, although health officials in Hong Kong said that animals could not transmit the virus to humans.
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