As we already mentioned in previous posts, coronaviruses are a big family of viruses, capable of causing a mild flu or severe diseases like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) which presented at november 2019 and caused 858 fatalities and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) during 2002 which caused 774 deaths, so, to this point, COVID-19 has caused more fatalities than both diseases together.
In general, these viruses are common among different animal species like cattle, horses, camels, bats, cats and dogs. There was evidence that SARS virus was transmitted from civet, a kind of wild cat, to humans and that MERS-CoV had its origins in camels, but up to date, the animal which transmits the virus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for COVID-19 disease remains unknown.
The virus which resembles more to the SARS-CoV-2 was found in a bat from Yunnan province in China, but it is believed that its transmission is not direct to humans, but instead, there could be another animal as intermediary, among the most likely are pigs, civets and pangolins.
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that to the moment there is no evidence that dogs or cats could be a source of coronavirus infection.
On February 28th, Chinese authorities quarantined a dog which had a “mildly positive” to lab test for virus detection, but up to date, animal remains asymptomatic, so it will be tested again.
In order to protect your cat or dog from airway disease, CDC recommends vaccination against Bordetella, parainfluenza and canine influenza. It is always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after being in contact with your pets and avoid them if you manifest a respiratory infection.