If you think you might have COVID-19, it’s probably a good idea to stay well away from your pets.
That’s according to the author of a Dutch study.
Utrect University doctor Els Broens discovered a significant number of cats and dogs might be catching the disease from their owners.
“About one out of five pets will catch the disease from their owners, because the most likely transmission is from human to pet. This is a rather high prevalence, but on the other hand, luckily, the animals do not get very ill from it.”
Broens’ study tested 156 dogs and 154 cats from 196 households where humans were known to have contracted coronavirus.
About 17% of the animals – 31 cats and 23 dogs – had antibodies for COVID-19.
That suggests they had previously experienced the infection.
Six cats and seven dogs actually had an active infection, as determined by a PCR test.
Broens says the virus is well adapted to humans, but less adapted to animals.
“For the PCR-positive animals, we went back to test them again, and we saw that they didn’t pass it to the other pets in the household, and also that they all cleared the disease pretty fast. So it seems that they’re just not very long that they’re spreading the virus, and there are no cases described yet where we see there’s pet to human transmission.”
Although we’ve known for a while that other mammals can catch the virus, other species do not get seriously ill.
Only minks are believed to have been infected by the disease by humans and then subsequently passed it on to other humans.
But, if you’re feeling unwell, it’s probably best to steer clear of your furry friends regardless.