The global coronavirus epidemic sparked some baseless fears in some people. Many pets have been abandoned since the epidemic broke out.
Shelters fostering rescued animals are full and some are even overcrowded. To solve this overflow, the government has set up a new derogation to the mandatory confinement to allow trips aiming at adopting animals.
This Tuesday April 21, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (or Anses) released a post about the spread of coronavirus through pets and the result is indisputable: pets cannot transmit the virus to men.
“In the current context and regarding data available, there’s no proof that [pets] can have an epidemiologic part in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (…). This spread being the result of an interhuman spread by respiratory route” the Anses writes.
To come to such a conclusion, the Anses gathered a collective emergency expertise group that relied on a study of cases known of animals that tested positive for coronavirus. For the record, a cat in Belgium, a tiger at the New York zoo and two dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive for covid-19. Those cases are “rare, sporadic and isolated from the main spread of the virus in men and the size of the pandemic. Cases surveyed are showing a transmission from men to animals”.
The collective emergency expertise group also pays interest in experiments led since the beginning of the epidemic. According to a Chinese study, dogs are little “receptive to the virus”, so are ducks and pigs. “There is currently no scientific proof as for the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 from an infected pet to men” the Anses repeats.
In order to avoid any men to animal contamination, the Anses recommends people infected by coronavirus to limit contacts with their pets and respect “barrier measures and distancing” as recommended.