The Chief Veterinary Officer of the United Kingdom certified that a domestic dog had contracted COVID-19 from its COVID-19-infected owner.
Dr. Katherine Russell, Consultant Medical Epidemiologist at the U.K. Health Security Agency(UKHSA) said that COVID-19 spreads all over the world from human to human. But, she mentions that in some cases, the virus can transfer from humans to animals. Europe, North America, and Asia have reported a tiny number of COVID-19 infections in pets.
The UKHSA mentioned that there is no concrete evidence that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. The situation will be continuously followed, and pet owners will be alerted if the position changes, it states.
The affected dog was being treated for another unrelated ailment and is recuperating, said Christine, reports BBC News. She mentioned that infected dogs with COVID-19 are unusual, and they only show moderate clinical signs before recovering in a few days.
Globally, animals including pets like cats and dogs, farmed mink, and large cats, gorillas, and otters in zoos, sanctuaries, and aquariums have been infected with COVID-19. There has been no effect of the COVID-19 virus on reptiles and birds, reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).
There are very few chances of animals spreading the virus to humans, but people in close contact with the animals can spread the infection. So there is guidance available from the CDC to the pet owners, animal health and wildlife officials, veterinarians, and others to take precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 between people and animals.
In its guidance for pet owners, the CDC states that COVID-19 patients should avoid all contact with their pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked by pets, sharing food, and sleeping with them. The CDC also recommends that COVID-19 patients wear masks and wash their hands before interacting with pets if they need to attend to their pets or be near animals. It also warns against using masks on pets since it could harm them.
"If you have Covid, you should avoid contact with your cat or dog, just as you would do with other people," Dr. Els Broens, from Utrecht University, said reports BBC in another article. "The main concern is not the animals' health but the potential risk that pets could act as a reservoir of the virus and reintroduce it into the human population," he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.