COVID-19 and Animals
What is the evidence that animals can become infected and develop illness from the COVID-19?
Currently there is limited evidence that animals can be infected with COVID-19 and reporting of infected animals has been rare in this outbreak. The overall risk that domestic animals can become infected and develop illness, is thought to be low. However, only limited information is available and there is still uncertainty and many unknowns about how this virus will behave in various animal species.
If an animal becomes infected, what is the evidence that they can transmit the virus to other people or animals?
What is the evidence that animals can act as fomites to mechanically transmit the COVID-19 virus from a human case to another person?
Although there is a potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through contact with a contaminated hair coat, there is only a theoretical risk of transmission of the virus to a person through this route. It is considered unlikely that a sufficient amount of virus would remain on the hair coat long enough to transmit infection. Practicing the following measures would further reduce any possible risk.
- Wash your hands before and after touching an at-risk animal or their food/supplies, and after cleaning up after them (consider wearing gloves).
- Wear protective outerwear to prevent contamination of your clothes.
- Regularly clean and disinfect any surfaces or objects the animal touches.
- Minimize the animal’s contact with people and other animals