Source: The Beijinger
The COVID-19 virus, as of 2nd March 2020, has already taken the lives of over 3,000 people worldwide.
Amidst the panic and worry over our health and safety, there is another group that we should be mindful about: our pets! There has been recent debates and frantic over whether or not the virus can be spread by animals, and whether pets should be quarantined as well, along with their owners.
Here’s a look at how the rapidly spreading virus has affected the lives of our pets.
Confirmed cases of pets contracting the virus
Source: JC Gellidon
It has recently been discovered that animals may be able to contract the deadly virus that is taking over the world.
According to news reports on 28th February, a dog in Hong Kong has reportedly tested ‘weakly positive’ for the COVID-19 virus. Its owner is a 60-year-old woman who developed symptoms for the virus and later tested positive. As of 5th March, this case has been confirmed as the first human-to-animal coronavirus transmission case.
Hong Kong authorities have since announced that all pets of people in Hong Kong infected have to be quarantined as well. The identified dog tested for the virus is already in isolation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have assured that although the virus has started infecting pets, there is definitely no need to take any strong precautions towards animals, such as abandoning them.
Abandoned pets amidst the virus
Source: George Bonev
In China, many pets have been abandoned in fears towards the transmission of the virus through animals. Other pets have been starving to death when their owners were quarantined and were not allowed to bring their four-legged friends along with them.
Thankfully, animal rescue shelters and other volunteers have been making efforts to save these poor animals. According to news reports, an animal shelter in Shanghai already rescued 350 dogs for a place sized for 120, noting the sharp increase in animal abandonment.
Stock up masks for your pets too!
Source: K9 Masks
Many people in China are rushing to stock up masks, not only for themselves, but for their pets as well!
Special masks customised for dogs have always been a business in China against air pollution, but retailers said that sales have been rocketing in this virus season as people rush to protect their pets from COVID-19.
Of course, pet owners need to take responsibility by remembering to wear their own masks around their pets as well, just to avoid any unnecessary spread of the virus.
Prevent the spread of virus by lessening contact with your pets
Source: bin Zieglar
As a simple precautionary measure, pet owners should lessen the physical contact with their pets in this period of time – this means lesser cuddling, lesser kissing, and even lesser petting.
Yes, this may seem like a difficult task for some animal lovers, but it may help to reduce the chances of any person – or any animal – getting the virus. The WHO has also advised pet owners to wash their hands with soap and water after any form of contact with their pets.
Even though our pets may be relatively safe from the virus, it would not hurt to take some straightforward precautions. Let’s do our part to protect ourselves, and our pets, against COVID-19.