Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are present in many species. When infected with these viruses we may experience no signs at all, through to severe disease. The new coronavirus COVID-19 strain, which is affecting people in many countries across the world including New Zealand, causes respiratory illness and pneumonia.
What impact does this have for our pets?
At this stage there is no conclusive evidence that companion animals can be infected with, or spread COVID-19. The current advice when dealing with your pets, as well the people around you, is the need to observe good hygiene practices. These include frequent hand washing with soap (for 20 seconds) particularly after contact; avoid face to face contact, and inhaling droplets due to sneezing and coughing (possibly using a facemask if an issue).
As the understanding around this outbreak increases more information will become available. The most up to date information can be found on websites for the following organisations: