Q: Hi Dr. People are advised not to touch animals. Are animals potential threat to the spread of COVID-19?
A: The US Center for Disease Control has the following to say about this question:
• Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in certain types of animals.
• Coronaviruses that infect animals can become able to infect people, but this is rare.
• We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
• We do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19.
• We do not have evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products imported pose a risk for spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States.
For general tips on pet hygiene, I repeat a post I had made a while back
Pets are a great way of teaching our children responsibility as they learn to love and look after someone else apart from themselves. Of course, man’s best friend is also good at enhancing security at home!
However, there are some inherent risks in having these pets at home as infections can readily be transferred from them to us. The commonest means of getting these infections is by getting bitten, getting in contact with the faeces or sometimes through contamination of food.
To prevent these, here are our top five tips:
Please wash your hands whenever you have handled or played with the pets especially if you are to prepare, handle or eat food soon after.
Also wash your hands whenever you come in contact with the pets’ poo. Ensure that children do not play close to these areas.
Your pets’ immunizations should be up to date. You don’t want to be known as ‘the owner of that rabid down the street’.
Your pets’ fur should be kept clean with regular shampooing.
If you are a fan of reptile pets, please consider delaying on getting one if you have children under the age of 5 years old and especially during this outbreak of COVID-19.
Have a great weekend y’all 🙂