According to the CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were discovered in a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from human-to-human.
Amidst the chaos, a very common question has been making rounds… “Can pets be affected by the infamous coronavirus?”
Can The Coronavirus Attack Your Pets?
Authorities from Hong Kong stated earlier this week that a Pomeranian had been tested positive for the novel COVID-19 on a swab test. It was suspected that the Pomeranian was just contaminated with the virus, after revealing a low level of infection.
Matters have been taken up by the global pet industry and two more pets were checked for the coronavirus after the Pomeranian. They both tested negative.
Many animal healthcare experts see how these cases could lead to concern among pet parents worldwide; however, scientists believe that there is no proof that pets can infect their owners, other people, or other pets with the coronavirus. They can only test for having COVID-19.
Is Quarantine Needed For Infected Animals?
Authorities in Hong Kong have advised putting mammalian pets belonging to infected people in quarantine.
However, on the other side of things, it is not required to keep infected animals that have been tested positive away from those that have not been exposed to the virus. It may be a best practice, but pets have a very low chance of transferring the virus to humans if tested positive for it. This applies to humans as well as other animals.
How To Prevent The Spread of The Coronavirus
Unfortunately, no COVID-19 vaccine exists currently. So, health officials are recommending we implement the easiest ways to prevent any illness, which is just simply to avoid exposure. This doesn’t mean we should close ourselves off to society completely; especially since our furry friends love the outdoors too much anyways!
The following suggestions have been made public for people to follow:
- Stay home if/when you’re sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
While these may be actions you already practice, it’s always good to refresh them in your memory during this time. Please encourage others to do the same!
Hands N Paws Takes Action To Stay Healthy
As we’re entering in and out of clients’ homes and working with pets all day long, we realize that the transfer of germs can be pretty excessive. This is why we’ve equipped the pet sitters and dog walkers at Hands N Paws with best practices in order to maintain a clean working environment.
- Staff members are now equipped with disinfecting wipes, which we use to wipe down doorknobs, for example, before entering and after leaving clients’ homes.
- Staff members are expected to use company-provided hand-sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) between pet appointments.
- We are working to avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with our hands in the workplace.
- Staff has been given facial tissues and latex/plastic gloves to keep on them during appointments so as to cough or sneeze into, or when touching various surfaces. The CDC’s cough and sneeze etiquette have been reviewed among employees.
- Staff has been asked to avoid close contact with people they know who are sick. In addition, they are required to address it to management when they are feeling sick or have a fever. The company’s sick leave policy has been reviewed so that employees are freshly aware of company rules and protocols.
We have also discouraged the following activities around any animals so as to keep the human-to-animal interaction safe:
- Eating or drinking
- Hand-to-mouth behaviors, such as nail-biting
- Contact with animals if the human has any open wounds
- Contact with any animal waste that isn’t prefaced by wearing gloves and followed by using hand-sanitizer afterward
Latest Updates In Ohio
The total number of negative tests in Ohio reached eight on Friday, March 6th, 2020 when another coronavirus test came out negative, says 10tv.
As of Monday, March 9th, 2020, there are three confirmed cases of coronavirus being tested positive in Ohio.
Their symptoms pointed towards a respiratory illness. The state’s health department says that they either been in contact with someone who was infected or had traveled to China or the adjoining areas within the last two weeks.
There are 225 Ohioans who are currently under public health supervision. The figure points towards travelers that have been referred to ODH for monitoring. The number may also include travelers who have ended their self-monitoring home quarantine.
If you want to find out the number of potential cases being reported to the state and the outcome of testing procedures, you can check them at coronavirus.ohio.gov, where they are updated every day.
Continuing To Stay Informed
As reported by NBC4, Amy Acton, who is the Health Director of the Ohio Department, revealed today that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) had opened a call center that will entertain questions regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The call center, set up by ODH, will be functional seven days a week from 9 AM to 8 PM. You can reach out to them at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
There are nurses and infectious disease experts that can are part of the call center staff. They will be answering all queries and providing people with accurate and updated information regarding COVID-19.
Currently, the general risk of coronavirus to the citizens of Columbus, Ohio, is low. However, it is essential that everyone continues to follow the standard guidelines and take up necessary precautionary measures as laid out above.
At Hands N Paws, we are happy to be thought leaders on this looming fear of the coronavirus. We want to provide as much info as possible to the public, so that you as a pet parent gain full transparency on the topic and feel fully informed and reassured! If pet parents notice any strange or weird behaviors among pets, of course, take them to the vet to get checked out!