COVID-19 and Pets
Updates and CDC guidelines for our Members on COVID-19
COVID-19 And What To Do If You Have Animals
Key Points Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others cause illness in certain types of animals. Coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to people, but this is rare. We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person. CDC is aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reportedexternal icon to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. We do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. We do not have evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products imported pose a risk for spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, infect only animals and do not infect humans.
Risk of Animals Spreading COVID-19 to people
Some coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to humans and then spread between people, but this is rare. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are examples of diseases caused by coronaviruses that originated in animals and spread to people. This is what is suspected to have happened with the virus that caused the current outbreak of COVID-19. However, we do not know the exact source of this virus. Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of COVID-19. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person. The coronavirus most similar to the virus causing COVID-19 is the one that causes SARS.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mostly from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. At this time, there is no 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.
Risk from imported animals and animal products
CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Regulation of imported animals and animal products
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) play distinct but complementary roles in regulating the importation of live animals and animal products into the United States. CDC regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to human health; USDA regulatesexternal icon animals and animal products that pose a threat to agriculture; and FWS regulatesexternal icon importation of endangered species and wildlife that can harm the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture, or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources.
Stay Healthy Around Pets
In the United States, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time. However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.
- Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
- For more information, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
Risk of People Spreading COVID-19 to Pets
CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.
CDC is aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. To date, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to other animals or people. CDC is working with human and animal health partners to monitor this situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
Protect Pets if You are Sick
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
What to Do if You are Sick:
Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
For more information, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the COVID-19 Pandemic
For the latest situation report please visit the World Health Organization’s https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Clicking the link below will take you to a listing of the health department in your state. If you can any question you can find contact information for resources in your local area. https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Difficulty breathing
Read about COVID-19 Symptoms
COVID-19 is caused by a previously unrecognized coronavirus, called COVID-19. For more information about COVID-19 please visit:
COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper respiratory illness in humans and are associated with respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and neurologic disease in animals.
There is not enough information about the new virus to determine the full range of illness that it might cause. Coronaviruses have occasionally been linked to pneumonia in humans, especially people with weakened immune systems. The viruses also can cause severe disease in animals, including cats, dogs, pigs, mice, and birds.
The length of time that the virus survives likely depends on a number of factors. These factors could include the type of material or body fluid containing the virus and various environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions are designing standardized experiments to measure how long COVID-19 can survive in situations that simulate natural environmental conditions.
Right now, there are no disinfectant products registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on environmental surfaces that are specifically listed as having the ability to kill COVID-19. However, related viruses that have similar physical and biochemical properties can be killed with bleach, ammonia or alcohol, or cleaning agents containing any of these disinfectants. Cleaning agents should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Contact your county health department (CHD).
- Consult a health-care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead and tell them before you visit that you think you may have COVID-19 so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- If you have a surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people. A mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
- Remember, very few respiratory infections will be COVID-19.
- Please review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with your physician.
- 24/7 Consultation is available to physicians through contacting their county health department (floridahealth.gov/chdepicontact) the Bureau of Epidemiology at (850) 245-4401.
The time between exposure to the COVID-19 virus and onset of symptoms is called the "incubation period." The incubation period for COVID-19 is typically 2 to 14 days, although in some cases it may be longer.
There are some common-sense precautions that you can take that apply to many infectious diseases. The most important is frequent hand washing with soap and water or use of alcohol-based hand rubs (see Prevention & Treatment https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html and Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/). You also should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands and encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection available online.
Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
Learn about COVID-19 Treatment.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from these areas, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider and mention your recent travel or close contact. Your healthcare provider will work with the Florida Department of Health and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
Your healthcare professional will work with your county health department to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
A person who is tested will have three specimens taken: oral, nasal, and saliva. The samples will be given to the county health department, who will then either ship or deliver them to the closest state laboratory. If a specimen is tested positive, it will be identified as ‘presumptive positive’ until the result is confirmed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For more information on COVID-19 testing see CDC Tests for COVID-19.
No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The recently emerged COVID-19 is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. The Florida Department of Health and CDC recommend that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.