Animals

On April 29, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following key points regarding animals:

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others cause illness in certain types of animals.
  • Some coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to people, but this is rare.
  • We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The first infections were thought to be linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now primarily spreading from person to person.
  • At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
  • We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.
  • The first case of an animal testing positive for the virus in the United States was in a tiger that had a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City.
  • CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
  • Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by the virus that causes COVID-19 and the role animals may play in the spread of COVID-19.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

For more information, see COVID-19 and Animals Frequently Asked Questions.

On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in two pet cats. These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended. Should other animals be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, USDA will post the findings. State animal health and public health officials will take the lead in making determinations about whether animals should be tested for SARS-CoV-2.

For more information on animals and COVID-19, see: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html

For more information about testing in animals, see: www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/one_health/downloads/faq-public-on-companion-animal-testing.pdf