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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations are investigating how COVID-19 can affect animals, but there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus. A small number of pets—cats and dogs—have been confirmed to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with a person with COVID-19, but those infected pets all had mild disease and could be taken care of at home.Should you be concerned that your pet was exposed to COVID-19, please consult your veterinarian for information regarding care.
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Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection:
Should you be concerned that your pet was exposed to COVID-19 or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please consult your veterinarian.
At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. A small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19. Although certain germs can be carried on fur and hair, there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.
However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals — such as washing your hands if you do handle animals or their food, supplies or waste. St. Charles County Animal Control offers additional suggestions for encounters with loose animals.
At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 - or other similar coronaviruses that have been studied closely - is spread by mosquitoes, houseflies, ticks or other insects. The primary way that this virus spreads is through person-to-person contact.
Please note: these creatures are capable of spreading other serious diseases to people and their pets. Take precautions when going outdoors to wear insect repellent, avoid common insect habitats and check for insects when returning home.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with your pet, just like you would with people. Until we know more about this virus, people sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, speak with your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is circulating in free-living wildlife in the United States or that wildlife might be a source of infection for people. However, because animals can carry other diseases, even without looking sick, it is always important to enjoy wildlife from a distance. Take steps to prevent getting sick from wildlife in the United States:
Walking a dog is important for both animal and human health and well-being. Follow these prevention recommendations:
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. There is no reason to think that any animals, including shelter pets, play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.If you are interest in becoming a foster parent or adopting from the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center, please call 636-949-7387 to schedule an appointment.
The CDC is an excellent resource for up-to-date information on COVID-19. Here are FAQs answered on their website. The American Veterinary Medical Association website also provides assistance regarding animal care.
For additional questions, please call the St. Charles County Public Health COVID-19 Information Hotline at 636-949-1899.