coronavirus

No Evidence That Pets Play Significant Role in Spread of COVID-19, CDC Says

The report comes weeks after a small number of animals worldwide, including in New York, have been infected naturally with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • There is no evidence that pets play a significant role in the spread of coronavirus, according to a report released by the CDC.
  • The report comes weeks after a small number of animals worldwide, including in New York, have been infected naturally with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
  • The CDC "advises persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to restrict contact with animals during their illness and to monitor any animals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and separate them from other persons and animals at home."

There is no evidence that pets play a significant role in the spread of coronavirus, according to a report released by the CDC.

The report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, comes weeks after a small number of animals worldwide, including in New York, have been infected naturally with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), mostly through suspected human-to-animal transmission. Some of the cases included two pet cats in New York and tigers at the Bronx Zoo tested positive, as well as dogs, cats, zoo lions, and farmed mink, according to the CDC.

A 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo initially tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced April 5. It is the first instance of a tiger testing positive for the virus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said. However, additional tigers ended up also testing positive for the virus.

According to the CDC, close interactions between humans and pets create opportunities for zoonotic disease transmissions.

On April 22, CDC and the USDA reported cases of two domestic cats in New York with confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2. These were the first reported companion animals (including pets and service animals) with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the United States, and among the first findings of SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic companion animals reported worldwide, according to the CDC.

Coronavirus Pandemic

Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you

WHO Recommends Postponing Dentist Appointments During Pandemic

No Roars at Augusta as Masters to Be Played Without Fans

These feline cases originated from separate households and were epidemiologically linked to suspected or confirmed human COVID-19 cases in their respective households. The cases triggered an investigation by state and federal partners, who determined that no further transmission events to other animals or persons had occurred.

Both cats fully recovered.

Although human-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally occur, animals are not known to play a substantial role in spreading COVID-19.

While the study says there is "currently no evidence that animals play a substantial role in spreading COVID-19," the CDC "advises persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to restrict contact with animals during their illness and to monitor any animals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and separate them from other persons and animals at home."

Contact Us