Now experts say you can give COVID-19 to pets

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Canadians who are sick with COVID-19 or suspect they have the virus are warned to be careful with their pets and other animals.

“COVID-19 infections have spread widely in the human population. In rare circumstances, some animals have been infected through close contact with infected humans, “said a statement on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association website.

The association points out that there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected with humans play a role in the spread of COVID-19 and that human epidemics are caused by person-to-person contact.

But as a precaution, he refers to the recent recommendations of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency which say that anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 or who isolates themselves due to contact with a case COVID-19 should follow similar recommendations regarding pets and livestock as they would around people.

This involves avoiding close contact with animals, good hand washing and avoiding coughing and sneezing on animals. It also means limiting your pet’s contact with other people and animals outside the household and, if possible, asking someone else at home to take care of your animals.

“Scientists are still trying to understand if and how (COVID-19) affects animals. This is an area that continues to be explored, “says the CFIA website, citing the World Organization for Animal Health.

The organization says on its website that there is evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is from an animal source and that genetic sequence data shows it is a close relative of other coronaviruses in bat populations in horseshoe.

But he says that to date there is not enough scientific evidence to identify the source or explain the original route of transmission from an animal source to humans.

“There is currently no evidence that pets play an important epidemiological role in this human disease,” said the organization’s website.

“However, since animals and people can sometimes share illnesses (called zoonotic illnesses), it is still recommended that sick people with COVID-19 limit contact with pets and the like until more information be known about the virus “

The Saskatchewan government said on Sunday that anyone with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals.

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19? Avoid snuggling with Fluffy and Fido, advise the experts

“If there is already an animal in the household, that animal must remain isolated with the patient,” said a provincial press release.

The Bronx Zoo announced on Sunday that one of its tigers had tested positive for the new coronavirus. The four-year-old Malaysian tiger named Nadia – and six other tigers and lions who also fell ill – was reportedly infected by a zoo worker who was not yet showing symptoms, the zoo said.

Despite warnings to avoid animals, the CFIA notes that if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms or do not isolate yourself, taking walks with pets and spending time with them is always beneficial for you. of them.

“Pets contribute to our happiness and well-being, especially in times of stress,” says the agency’s website.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 5, 2020.

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