Covid-19

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from my cat/dog?

A: While animals may be able to catch the virus from people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.

The CDC is aware of a very small number of pets, including dogs and cats, outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. The CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

The first case of an animal testing positive for the virus in the United States was a tiger that had a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed signs of respiratory illness. Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. This investigation is ongoing.

Experts are still learning about this virus, but they know that it is zoonotic and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.

To date, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to people.

The CDC is working with human and animal health partners to monitor the situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Further studies are needed to understand whether and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.

Morgan O'Hanlon is the business and agriculture reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6328, mohanlon@vicad.com or on Twitter @mcohanlon.

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Morgan covers business for the Victoria Advocate. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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