The CDC and USDA say that there is “no evidence that pets play a role inspreading the virus in the United States”
Two cats in New York have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)— marking the first pets in the United States to contract the virus.
The cats live in different areas of the state, the CDC and USDA announced in ajoint statement Wednesday and are expected to make a full recovery.
The first cat was tested by a veterinarian after it showed “mild respiratorysigns.” None of the cat’s owners had tested positive for COVID-19, so it issuspected that the cat could have contracted the virus from “mildly ill orasymptomatic household members or through contact with an infected personoutside its home.”
The second cat showed “signs of respiratory illness,” before being tested, andits owner had tested positive for COVID-19 before their pets showed signs ofthe virus. However, another cat in the home “has shown no signs of illness.”
The private vet lab where the cats were tested reported their results to stateand federal officials. The CDC and USDA said that routine testing of animalsis not recommended at this time.
The statement added that while information about COVID-19 is still emerging,“there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in theUnited States.”
“Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companionanimals that may compromise their welfare,” the statement said. “Furtherstudies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets,could be affected.”
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council echoed that sentiment in a statementWednesday.
“It is important that the public remain confident in the USDA and CDC guidancethat there continues to be no evidence that pets play a role in spreading thevirus in the United States and therefore there is no justification in takingmeasures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” thecouncil said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have safely brought petsinto their homes both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the human-animal bond continues to provide them with comfort, stress relief and otherscientifically-proven emotional and physical health benefits during thisunprecedented crisis,” the statement continued.
“The responsible pet care community is committed to protecting the health andwell-being of humans and pets, and urges everyone to follow CDC’s advice tokeep pets from interacting with people or animals outside your household, andto consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pets’ health.”
Source: By Ashley Boucher- USA People
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