Fighting The Invisible

Apr 15 , 2020

Fighting The Invisible

COVID-19 is a dreadful pandemic infection that is gaining traction worldwide. Experts are studying if pet owners can transfer the virus to their pets. Previous reports highlight that the first-ever case was an animal to human transmission. While there is very little research, some countries claim that owners might be able to infect their pets. Even so, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is considering all the possibilities.

There are many types of Coronaviruses. To name a few, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These types of viruses were also transmitted from animals to humans. Same as with the novel COVID-19. The virus spreads through droplets. 

Unfortunately, Hong Kong reported its first case of a cat testing positive to COVID-19 after its owner tested positive as well. Then a dog tested positive subsequent to its owner. Though these pets are not manifesting any symptoms, they still tested positive.  There is still little to no evidence that our house pets could be the source of the virus. The Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department said that they will continue to track cases.

In the United States, the first animal to test positive was a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Laboratory tests were performed after the tiger manifested symptoms related to COVID-19.  Despite the confirmed positive results, Nadia (Tiger’s name) is doing well, alert, and interactive.

The Bronx Zoo stated that animals need a different set of tests compared to humans. They suspected that Nadia's handler infected her.  While human to animal infections remain rare, authorities advised that owners should take standard precautions in handling their pets. Especially, if these humans are symptomatic.