CAN MY DOG GET THE CORONAVIRUS?
The World Health Organization announced on March 11, 2020, that the dreaded COVID-19 is now considered a pandemic. Naturally, we are all worried. This invisible enemy that is the coronavirus may be anywhere and on anybody. Scientists are working double-time, or even triple time to find a vaccine or cure. Time is very important right now and they are racing against it. And as some health experts put it, it is still about to get worse before it gets better.
But how do we fight this seemingly invincible opponent? As of now, almost the entire world is paralyzed. More than a hundred countries have COVID-19 cases, and almost 200,000 people are infected with more than 7,000 deaths as of this writing.
This brings to mind how we can protect our families. We are worried about our family’s safety, especially for those who have their elderly parents living with them. Dog lovers too are terrified about the prospects of their beloved dog catching the disease. Obviously, humans are not the only victims of this terrible disease; dogs are too.
What happened to dogs immediately after the coronavirus outbreak?
COVID-19 is said to have originated from Wuhan, the Chinese city which was once the epicenter of the disease, (though now WHO says it is in Europe). As such, Chinese officials declared a lockout of the entire city. Many Wuhan residents immediately left the city prior to the lockdown but left their pets with no one to care for them. They were left behind inside apartments, in the streets, in construction areas, and in parks.
They were not totally abandoned; residents left food to last them for a few days. What they did not count on is that they would not be able to come back for weeks. This left the dogs and cats starving to death.
The good news is, most of these abandoned pets were rescued and are now under the care of the Humane Society International.
Are dogs vulnerable to coronavirus?
How many times have we seen dogs with face masks? Or at least pictures of them? Images like that have popped up all over the internet because the dog owners were being very careful not to have their dogs infected. This has led many dog owners to as: can my dog get coronavirus?
The truth is, dogs can get infected with certain forms of coronavirus. One of these is the canine respiratory coronavirus. As far as COVID-19 is concerned, experts believe it is not a threat to dogs.
But you may be wondering, wasn’t there a case of a single dog catching the COVID-19? Yes, it did happen, but aside from the fact that it is rare, dogs can only have a low-level infection. This happened in Hong Kong. Here in the United States, no such case has been reported.
Human to pet transmission of COVID-19 is possible, but they cannot transmit the virus to another human. So if an animal gets into close contact with an infected person, that animal would have to be quarantined. Fortunately, there is no evidence that animals can transmit the virus to humans. Check this out for other diseases caused by the pest to dogs.
Right now, dog owners in the United States need not do anything to protect their dogs from the coronavirus, except for practicing good hand washing using soap and water after getting in contact with their pets. On the other hand, if the dog owners themselves are infected with the virus, they should stay away from their dogs. No, dog therapy should be put aside for now. The dogs could get infected, or they might get the virus through their fur. When they get handled by the next human, he or she might get infected.
If you are a dog owner and see something different in your dog, visit a veterinarian at once. A dog face mask is not needed.
And by the way, the dog that got infected with COVID-19 tested negative after being put on quarantine; a happy development indeed.
How is COVID-19 transmitted from human to human?
While the original source of COVID-19 is said to be bats from Wuhan’s exotic meats market, the reason for the pandemic is because the virus has spread from one human to another. When the World Health Organization says things would get worse before it gets better, let us do everything within our powers to stop it from happening. Here the ways people can transmit COVID-19 to other people.
- Through droplet infection – A sneeze or a cough from an infected person can directly transport the virus directly to the eyes, nose, and mouth of another person.
- By getting in close contact with an infected person – if you are closer than 3 feet to a person for around 15 minutes, there might be a chance you would get infected too.
- By hands – You might get infectious droplets in your hands; touching your face would make you very vulnerable to infection.
How to be protected from COVID-19?
Now for the good part. We can all protect ourselves from this virus. Read on to know-how, so you can save yourself, your family, and your dog.
Wash your hands in these situations
- Before eating
- Before feeding the kids
- Before feeding your dog
- Before cooking
- After sneezing and coughing
- After going to the toilet
- After taking off your face mask
- After visiting a sick person
- After throwing your garbage
- After using public transport
- Each time you come home
Wash your hands with soap and water. As much as possible, use liquid soap. Wash your hands properly.
When you wash your hands, wet your hands under the sink, then soap them with liquid soap. Rub your fingers, back of the hands, between the fingers, under the fingernails, wrists, and palms. Make sure you get a lather. Rinse with water thoroughly. Dry your hands using a disposable paper towel.
If you are wearing a ring, take it off while washing your hands. Wash your ring too. Cut your fingernails regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating under them.
Avoid public transport for now
Now, this will be very hard to do. Public transport is a vital cog in any economy. It moves people and goods. But these are different times, and everyone must be careful.
We encourage everyone to stay home for now, but if you really need to go out, use a bicycle or travel by foot. This is especially true for people over 65 years old.
If you have the symptoms, avoid public transport.
What do I do if I have a fever?
If you have a high fever, stay at home and isolate yourself. Cover your nose and your mouth when coughing and sneezing. Use a paper towel; use it only once.
Avoid contact with other people. Consult a doctor, but call them first before paying a visit. Remember that these are different times we are in.
Practice “social distancing”, at least for now.
The coronavirus has indeed changed the way we live. People who are close to us will have to keep their distance. This disease has now changed the way we work, exercise, shop, and behave in public places.
This time, we will have to avoid huge social gatherings. President Donald Trump said that public gatherings should be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Leave space between you and the next person. Minimize your visits to hospitals and care homes.
Avoid shaking hands. Our hands may not always be clean, depending on what we touched. Either you or the other person may have covered your mouth after you sneezed or coughed prior to you meeting each other. Avoid kissing to greet people as well.
Who is at most risk?
People who are at most risk are those who are aged 65 and above. Others who are at risk are those who are immunocompromised.
Who are the immunocompromised? These are people with underlying conditions like diabetes, chronic respiratory illness, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, or are undergoing therapies that weaken the immune system.
These people should avoid public transportation. Avoid going to public places like theaters, cinemas, malls, public parks, museums, and restaurants. If you need to buy groceries, choose the time that is not so busy, or just ask a relative or a neighbor to do the shopping for you. Do not visit hospitals, care homes, and even funerals. For nursing homes, prohibit visits for now.
The important thing is not to panic. Panicking would not do any good. Governments all over the world will have to step up their efforts in tracing infected people, communicate clearly, test widely and efficiently, and coordinate between agencies, states, provinces, and federal governments. Right now, the World Health Organization, in coordination with the rest of the world. is doing all it can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
For getting some help in disinfecting your house as well as getting rid of pests, Go-Forth Pest Control is the best company you can go to. With them, you can get rid of pests immediately that might affect your pets like dogs and cats. Give them a call and get a quote from them.