The coronavirus has undoubtedly created mass panic and has led to people making hasty decisions. A lot of people are uninformed about the dos and don'ts of the illness and many of them have gone as far as to abandon their pets with the belief that the pets might transfer the disease to them. But a professor now states that there is no evidence that can prove that pets can transfer the virus to humans.
In fact, even the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made a similar statement. A senior professor of the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, studied the case of a dog whose owner had contracted the COVID-19 virus in Hong Kong. After a thorough study, the professor claimed that there is “no evidence of transmission from dogs, cats or other pets to humans”.
The professor further stated that there is no need for pet owners to panic but of course they could always take certain precautionary measures. The dog (Hong Kong) was also tested and the test reports state, “The dog was placed under quarantine on February 26, 2020, after its owner was hospitalised due to COVID-19 infection...Nasal, oral, rectal swabs as well as faeces were taken after the dog's admission to the quarantine facility. Nasal and oral samples tested positive for SARS CoV-2. The dog has not exhibited any specific clinical signs. Follow-up...swab samples...were subsequently taken on February 28 and March 2 and 5, 2020, continued to test positive. Investigation is ongoing...”
After this on March 12, the dog tested negative for the virus. “Even though the Hong Kong dog tested “mild, weak positive” for COVID-19 in initial testings, the results were negative in the most recent testing on March 12,” said Dr Kirti Dua. “As of now there is no evidence of dogs, cats or other pets passing this virus to humans. In fact, the coronavirus strain COVID-19 doesn't even affect animals according to studies till now...The report says that the zoonotical potential of the case is unknown at this time and the source of the outbreak or origin of infection is also unknown or inconclusive,” he added.
The doctor further spoke about pet owners and said, “Those who have been infected or are showing symptoms should maintain some distance from their pets, because it is possible that other humans who will touch their pet, might also get infected. There is a need to maintain hygiene but there should not be any panic. It is unclear if the Hong Kong dog got the mild infection from its owner or it was environmental contamination.”