Although there is no evidence pets are spreading the new coronavirus to people. there have been a few cases worldwide where animals likely got the virus from humans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In New York, two house cats in different homes in New York have also contracted the virus, likely from their owners or someone in the neighborhood.
The first cat fell ill about a week after a person in its household had a short respiratory illness, though the person’s ailment was not confirmed to be COVID-19, Barton Behravesh said. The animal goes outdoors at times and might have come into contact with an infected person in the area, she said.
The second cat’s owner tested positive for COVID-19 before the cat became sick, officials said. Another cat in the same home has not shown any signs of illness. The cats’ symptoms included coughing and slightly runny noses, officials said.
We’re still learning about how #COVID19 affects animals, but it appears that people can spread the virus to animals in some situations. Until we know more, limit contact with pets if you are sick or feeling sick. For more info, see: https://t.co/H8NS2GBCcZ. pic.twitter.com/96EbrQPdUT— CDC (@CDCgov) May 4, 2020
Meanwhile, a 4-year-old tiger tested positive at New York City’s Bronx Zoo, and officials think a zookeeper with the virus got the feline sick.
The Malayan tiger named Nadia — and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill — are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee who was not yet showing symptoms, the zoo said.
The first animal started showing symptoms on March 27 and all are doing well and expected to recover, said the zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16 amid the surging coronavirus outbreak in New York.
Some researchers have been trying to understand the susceptibility of different animal species to the virus and to determine how it spreads among animals, according to the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health.
“There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States,” Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, said in an interview.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been recommending that out of an abundance of caution, people ill with the coronavirus should limit contact with animals.
In general, the CDC also advises people to wash their hands after handling animals and do other things to keep pets and their homes clean.
Source: El Universal
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