Vets discuss whether animals can carry COVID-19


RICHMOND, VA (WVNS) — A tiger at the Bronx Zoo recently tested positive for COVID-19. This raised the question of whether animals can carry it.

According to Dr. Julia Murphy, the State Public Health Veterinarian of Virginia, there is still a lot of research being done. Dr. Murphy said, as of right now, there is no new evidence that points to animals being carriers of COVID-19.

Dr. Murphy added nothing right now shows that the virus can live on the fur or skin of household pets; however, Dr. Murphy recommended not to touch your pets as a precautionary measure if you are sick.

“People in the household where there is a COVID-19 patient, for that patient to have no contact of very limited contact with the pet if possible. Take precautions as far as hand hygiene and face mask use, and still relatively limited contact with the pet,” Murphy said.

This does not mean you should not care for your animals, especially if you are the only care giver. Dr. Murphy said this just means to take extra precautions when doing so. She also suggested to stock up on your pet’s food and medications in case you do end up quarantined.

Studies for animals and COVID-19 are still going on and more information can be found on the Virginia Department of Health website. Information for pet owners can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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