We have the same questions you do-can animals spread COVID-19 to humans? Here’s what science has told us so far.
Because COVID-19 is a newer virus, there is minimal data available. At this time, the transmission is believed to be very low.
To clarify, coronavirus is a family of viruses and has multiple strains, including COVID-19. Some strains of coronavirus can only infect animals. However, COVID-19 was believed to have mutated into a strain that jumped from a bat to a human.
Current Evidence and Published Studies
According to the CDC, cats and dogs have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. More recently, lions at Barcelona Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. In another instance, snow leopards tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. While it’s evident that the feline species can contract COVID-19, many other species are still in question.
A recent study showed that fruit bats, ferrets, and golden Syrian hamsters can be infected with the virus and spread it to each other in a laboratory setting. However, in the same study, mice, pigs, and poultry did not become infected or spread the infection.
These studies were based upon a small number of animals and do not indicate whether animals can spread the infection to people.
House pets can spread it to other house pets. Moreover, humans can spread it to animals.
However, the CDC recommends isolating your pets as you would another human living in your household. It is proven that house pets can spread it to other house pets. Moreover, humans can spread it to animals. If one pet is sick, the CDC also recommends isolating it from other pets in your home.
As more information becomes available, we continue to research and learn as much about the virus as possible. As we work closely with animals, we take all proper precautions outlined by the CDC and PA Game Commission to keep you, your family, and our team safe.