Sunday, April 12, 2020

Clarification on media reports

I’ve learned this morning that I’ve been quoted by some media outlets – including publications that have never made any attempt to contact me – urgently warning dog owners not to let other people pat their dogs.

I want to be very clear.

Right now, there is no evidence that you can catch Covid-19 from companion animals.

The very small number of animals that have tested positive have had contact with infected humans.

We know that the virus can live on surfaces like plastic, steel and cardboard for variable periods.

We do not know if SARS-COV-2 can survive on the coats of animals, and if so, for how long. If it does survive, there is a chance that a person could have contact with the virus on the animal’s coat, then touch their own face. Current information suggests that this presents a very low risk.

Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the current advice is to treat animals as a potential surface. i.e. wash your hands before and after touching them and try to avoid handling other people’s animals (but if you do, wash your hands before and after).