More Animals Test Positive For COVID19, What Owners Need to Know

Written by on April 30, 2020

More Animals Test Positive For COVID19, What Owners Need to Know

By K.C. Lopez

April 30, 2020

Photo | K.C. Lopez / WLVR

Experts say it’s unlikely that pets will contract coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

WLVR’s KC Lopez reports on the latest data for Lehigh Valley pet and livestock owners.

Pet owners who have tested positive for COVID-19 should avoid petting, snuggling, sharing food with, being licked or kissed by their pet. That’s according to Doctor Mark Knouse, an infectious disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

And, Knouse says, when possible another member of the household should care for pets.

“If you have to be close to the pet, and can’t avoid it, please consider wearing a mask…in addition, before and after touching the pet, if you have to, hand sanitize, that’s the best, just like in human contact, the same would apply to the pet as well.”

Some pet owners have been questioning the risk of animal transmission after two domestic cats in New York State and some tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19.

Bryan Langlois, past president of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, says these cases aren’t anything for the public to become overly concerned about.

“We kind of expected it but the one thing we also want the public to understand is that there is still no evidence or case reports of pets of any kind transmitting the virus to humans,” said Langlois.

Langlois says current research shows felines and ferrets seem to be the most at risk for contracting COVID-19 — not livestock like horses, cows or sheep.


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