Coronavirus transmission: Can you make your pets sick and vice versa?

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – A tiger at the Bronx Zoo was the first animal to test positive for COVID-19 in the United States. Now, 8 On Your Side Investigates a simple question: Can you infect your pets with COVID-19 and vice versa?

Right now, there’s an investigation into the New York City case; however, it’s believed the tiger contracted the virus from a zookeeper who was asymptomatic.

At zoos across the country, new protocols are being put in place with some zookeepers now wearing masks and gloves when they’re close to the animals.

So does that mean you have to cover fido’s snout?

“A lot of virus’ in say dogs, do not get into humans and vice versa,” said Dr. John Greene, “other virus in dogs, cats can get into humans.”

Dr. Greene is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Moffitt and a hospital epidemiologist. He’s studied infections for more than thirty years.

So far in the United States, there’s been no reports of pets getting sick with COVID-19.

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“I think we’re still learning about this virus, about what is the role pets are going to play,” said Dr. Greene.

Experts say, while some coronaviruses that infect animals can be spread to you, at this time, there’s no evidence that your dog or cat, can give you COVID-19.

But what about you infecting your precious furry friend?

“Staying six feet away from your pet is hard to,” said Dr. Greene. “I don’t think you have to totally separate from your pets.”

There’s one major exception.

Outside the United States, there have been a few reports of pets getting COVID-19 after close contact with their sick owners.

If you’re sick, health experts recommend you limit contact with all animals, including your dogs and cats.

More studies do need to be done to see how this virus impacts different animals. You can check out the CDC’s website for more the latest about COVID-19 and animals.

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