The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in one tiger at a zoo in New York. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness.
Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to recover. There is no evidence that other animals in other areas of the zoo are showing symptoms.
USDA and CDC are monitoring the situation and working to support the state and local health departments and state animal health officials. State animal and public health officials will take the lead in making determinations about whether animals, either at this zoo or in other areas, should be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. USDA will notify the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of this finding.
Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19  in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If a sick person must care for a pet or be around animals, they should wash their hands before and after the interaction.
Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick from coronavirus (COVID-19)?
You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States , it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. More information is available on how to keep people and animals safe at CDC‘s “If You Have Animals” key points.
Can people give this virus to animals and, if so, what animals are at risk?
This is the first case of its kind. We are still learning about this new coronavirus and how it spreads. This case suggests that a zoo employee spread the virus to the tiger. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19. State animal and public health officials will continue to work closely with USDA and CDC to monitor this situation and will conduct additional testing if it is warranted.
If animals can catch the virus, can they give it back to people?
At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.
For complete article and more Q&As, go to: USDA April 6, 2020 article
“FREE” PET WEBINARS coming soon!
To help us through this pandamic, I would like to “give back” to the community so I am in process of creating numerous “free” webinars for you and/or your family to join. Some topics are:
- Reiki Intro: An introduction into “What Is Reiki” and how can help me, my family & pets. This is a 15-minute overview of Reiki, followed by a 10-minute distance Relaxation Meditation
- Reiki Meditation: If you are already familiar with Reiki, I will be conducting a 20-minute distance Relaxation Meditation session for you, your family & pets
- How & why to give your pet a Monthly Wellness Exam
- How to create a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
- Water-safety tips for your dogs
- Household plants & foods that are toxic to your pets
- to name just a few
If there is a topic missing you would like to hear more about, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.