Don't Abandon Your Pets ! Pets Unlikely To Spread COVID-19
PETS UNLIKELY TO SPREAD COVID-19
The rapid rate of infection and the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by a type of coronavirus, has raised a lot of questions in people's minds. One of them is, "can pets get COVID-19 or not?" There are various types of coronaviruses. Some of them cause illnesses in humans, while others cause illnesses in different animals. The transmission of the disease occurs when there is contact with the bodily secretions of an infected person. These bodily secretions could be either saliva or mucus droplets expelled when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Aside from transmission via an infected person's bodily secretions, you can also get infected if you touch a surface having the virus, and then you touch your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Do Coronaviruses infect animals?
Coronaviruses do not infect only humans. They also occur in different species of both domestic and wild animals such as horses, cats, dogs, bats, camels, and other animals. Coronaviruses that infect and cause illness in animals very rarely infect humans too. There is no concrete evidence yet as to whether pets can spread COVID-19.
Can I get COVID-19 from my pet?
Some of the diseases caused by coronaviruses, like Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), first infected only animals. However, they can now infect humans. There are suspicions that the same thing might have happened in the outbreak of COVID-19, but these suspicions are not yet confirmed. Some isolated cases, about three of them, show that some animals became infected with COVID-19. It is suspected that these animals got the disease from their owners. None of the animals fell ill, though, and after some time, they tested negative for the disease. If you have pets like cats or dogs, you can rest assured in the fact that they are not likely to spread the COVID-19 disease. Based on reports from organizations like the world organization for animal health, there is no concluding evidence that the virus can cause illness in animals. This also means that there is no proof to suggest that animals can transmit the disease to humans. Therefore, you can interact with your animal as you usually would, provided you do not have COVID-19. As a precaution, do not allow outsiders to handle your pet during this period.
Mode of transmission of COVID-19.
The most common way for the spread of COVID-19 is by human-to-human contact. It is important to note that even people who are not showing symptoms of the disease can still transmit it to others. It is, therefore, best to stay about 6 feet away from other people at all times, especially if they are strangers. Another mode of transmission of the disease is via the respiratory droplets of infected individuals. The droplets contain a large amount of the virus and are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If an uninfected person who is nearby inhales the droplets and they get to the lungs, the person will likely be infected. A third way in which the virus is spread is if an uninfected person touches a contaminated surface or object. If such a person then touches his nose mouth or eyes, he may become infected with the disease.
SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 IN HUMANS
The time between infection with the disease and the appearance of its symptoms is not known. It is, however, estimated that the duration is approximately between 5 and 7 days. The quarantine period for people is 14 days. The severity of COVID-19 ranges from mild illness to severe illness and then death for severe cases. Symptoms of the disease may appear about 2 to 14 days after infection, and they include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and tiredness. It is best to seek emergency medical care if you experience shortness of breath, confusion, persistent pressure, or pain in the chest and bluish lips or face.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE FROM THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
Even though there are currently no vaccines to help prevent COVID-19 both for animals and for humans, there are several precautions that you can take to prevent the disease. They include:
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water, particularly when you touch surfaces you feel may have been contaminated. Smooth or non-porous surfaces such as doorknobs facilitate transmission more than porous surfaces like money. In a situation where you do not have soap and water, you could use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Practice social distancing: Anytime you are in public, Stay at least six feet away from other individuals, particularly those who are coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, your mouth, and your nose with unwashed hands as your hands may be contaminated with the virus.
- Avoid gatherings: If the disease is severe where you live, and the government has urged everyone to stay at home and avoid gatherings, ensure you follow the requirements and remain at home until its spread is curbed.
- Wear masks if you have the disease: If you have the disease or you suspect that you have it, wear a well-fitted mask, and avoid coming into close contact with other people. This is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease to non-infected individuals. Also, if you think you have the disease, limit your contact with your pets and other animals. Even though it is not evident whether humans can transmit it to animals, it is better to be careful until more information is known.
- Avoid close contact with your pet: Avoid letting your pet kiss or lick you and also do not hug or snuggle it if you have the disease. Instead, arrange for someone to take care of it until you are well.
- Call for help: Call your physician if you begin to experience any of the symptoms associated with the disease like a fever and respiratory issues.
As a pet owner, it is better that you prepare in advance in case of any emergencies. Make sure you keep two weeks' worth or more of your pet's food and needed medications. Also, ensure that you take necessary precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19.