NO CAUSE FOR PANIC

Pets pose little Covid-19 infection risk to owners

World Animal Protection and World Health Organization say animals can't transmit disease

In Summary

“There was always very little evidence that domestic animals can contract coronavirus and we hope this recent news from WHO will ensure that people do not continue to panic about their pets,” Mudoga said.

A pet dog outside the US Embassy in Nairobi on June 9, 2020
A pet dog outside the US Embassy in Nairobi on June 9, 2020
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

 

The World Animal Protection has urged pet owners not to panic about the possibility of the animals contracting Covid-19 and infecting people.

The call came after the Word Health Organization said there is very little risk that pets can infect owners.

“At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs, cats can be infected with the virus," WHO stated.

However, the organization advised that it is always a good idea to wash one's hands with soap and water after contact with pets.

In a press release issued on Friday, Dr Emily Mudoga who is the Animals in Communities Campaigns Manager at World Animal protection said pets should not be subjected to mistreatment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There was always very little evidence that domestic animals can contract coronavirus and we hope this recent news from WHO will ensure that people do not continue to panic about their pets,” Mudoga said.

Acknowledging that pets are important for companionship, Mudoga said they shouldn’t pay the price of people’s worries by being abandoned or cruelly mistreated.

“All around the world, our pets improve and add value to our lives – so let’s make sure we keep them, and ourselves, protected,” she said.

Since the beginning of the global Covid-19 outbreak, Food and Agriculture Organization has been collaborating with the WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health to assist member countries to identify potential animal hosts of the virus and reduce spillover events to humans.

Investigations to understand the epidemiology of Covid-19 and the involvement of animals as a virus reservoir or intermediate hosts are ongoing.

However, up to date, the highest risk of Covid-19 spread is through human-to-human transmission.

 

Edited by P.O