Animals unlikely to spread Covid-19 to humans, but precautions can help keep people and their pets safe, says CDC

There's no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of coronavirus to humans, but precautions can help keep people and their pets s...

Posted: Feb 2, 2021 11:30 AM

There's no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of coronavirus to humans, but precautions can help keep people and their pets safe, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Monday.

"Based on limited information available to date, the risk of animals, including pets, spreading Covid-19 to people is considered to be low," CDC official Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh said during a briefing Monday.

Evidence suggests that Covid-19 likely originated in animals before becoming widespread among humans.

"As of the middle of January, we're aware of 187 animals from 22 countries with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection," Behravesh said, noting those numbers do not include mink on mink farms. She added that no animal deaths have yet been linked to the virus.

The CDC is closely tracking research on coronavirus infections in animals and has categorized some animals based off their risk of infection. Animals that are highly susceptible to the virus include cats, hamsters, non-human primates, rabbits, mink and deer, Behravesh said.

Protecting Pets

Behravesh said that companion animals, especially cats and dogs, are the leading group of animal species impacted by coronavirus.

While animal-to-human transmission risk is low, people can spread coronavirus to pets, Behravesh said.

The CDC recommends people treat pets the same way they would human family members to protect them from Covid-19, by limiting contact with those outside the household. The agency advises keeping cats inside and preventing other pets from roaming freely. Masks should not be put on pets, as they could cause harm.

Infected people should avoid contact with pets, meaning no kissing, snuggling or sleeping in the same bed, the CDC says. In fact, people who have coronavirus should try to arrange for another household member to take care of pets. If that's not possible, the CDC says people should wear masks when interacting with their pets.

People who suspect their pets may have coronavirus should consult with a veterinarian. Behravesh noted that among 93 cases of Covid-19 in cats and dogs in the US, 53% showed no symptoms. The most common symptoms reported in animals have been respiratory signs, like coughing or sneezing. Other symptoms reported include fever, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Pets who have tested positive for coronavirus should be isolated away from humans and other animals, Behravesh said.

There's no evidence that pets are carrying or spreading coronavirus on their skin or hair, and it's important not to wipe or bathe pets with chemical disinfectants, Behravesh said.

"Pet poison controls have actually had an increase in calls due to these types of exposures among pets," she said.

The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19 in animals, Behravesh noted.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1605320

Reported Deaths: 27132
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61354910964
DuPage1039171357
Will873121089
Lake771121060
Kane65888850
Winnebago39007544
Madison38143576
St. Clair35003569
McHenry33032316
Peoria25972362
Champaign25862182
Sangamon24588271
McLean21879207
Tazewell19736326
Rock Island17806344
Kankakee16784234
Kendall15459106
LaSalle14496275
Macon14478240
Vermilion13234189
Adams12695148
DeKalb11667128
Williamson11419157
Whiteside7897176
Jackson769188
Boone760082
Coles7341112
Ogle713486
Grundy701281
Franklin686899
Clinton681498
Knox6651164
Marion6547138
Macoupin646399
Henry620474
Jefferson6060132
Effingham604382
Livingston571295
Woodford554291
Stephenson546289
Randolph529297
Monroe508199
Christian491780
Fulton487970
Morgan487296
Logan477474
Montgomery467476
Lee458156
Bureau427188
Perry415171
Saline409263
Fayette398956
Iroquois394673
McDonough354956
Jersey322253
Shelby311843
Douglas306636
Crawford304130
Lawrence301131
Union296747
Wayne274057
White265930
Richland262054
Hancock256334
Pike255956
Cass250928
Clark250738
Bond244024
Clay240047
Ford235256
Edgar234744
Carroll225437
Warren224960
Johnson213524
Moultrie211831
Jo Daviess206126
Washington206127
Wabash200915
Greene200739
Mason199351
Massac198144
De Witt195530
Piatt190814
Mercer190634
Cumberland178325
Menard158612
Jasper152418
Marshall134721
Hamilton128821
Brown10178
Pulaski98311
Schuyler9688
Edwards96315
Stark76827
Gallatin7435
Scott6975
Alexander67611
Henderson65114
Calhoun6442
Hardin56013
Putnam5444
Pope4815
Unassigned1882432
Out of IL40

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479