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Can Your Pet Get COVID-19?

Can your pet get infected with COVID-19? Yes, pets and other animals can contract the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but US health authorities maintain that the risk of transmitting it to people is low.

Dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, otters, hyenas and white-tailed deer are some of the animals that have tested positive for the virus, in most cases after being in contact with infected people.

Although there is no need to worry too much about contracting COVID-19 from a pet, they should be concerned about the opposite scenario. People with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease need to avoid contact with pets, farm animals and wildlife, as well as other people, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“If you wouldn’t go near another person because they are sick or could have been exposed (to the virus), don’t go near another animal,” said Dr. Scott Weese of the Ontario College of Veterinarians.

Most likely, this particular coronavirus passed from animals to humans in the first place, causing a global pandemic because the virus spreads so easily between people, but it does not spread as easily from animals to humans. Minks are the only known animals to contract it from humans and re-infect it, according to Weese.

Three northern European countries reported cases of transmission of the virus from mink to humans on farms. The virus circulated among the animals before returning to the workers.

The ease with which animals can contract and spread the virus may change with different variants, and the best way to prevent it from spreading between them is to control it between humans, Weese said.

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