According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, the first reported case of a SARS-CoV-2 positive dog has surfaced in Louisiana.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says, “Initially, it was believed pets could not get the disease, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now learning that animals can be infected.”
Strain added, “It appears that people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact. It is important for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection. At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended.”
No cases in Mississippi
Dr. James Watson, State Veterinarian with the Mississippi Board of Animal Health said, “There have been no cases of SARS CoV-2 in animals (dogs, cats, ferrets) here Mississippi. We tested one dog several months ago and it was negative.”
Watson also stated, “The protocol that has been established by Animal and Public Health Officials is that an animal needs to have contact with a confirmed positive human, and exhibit clinical signs suggestive of Coronavirus (fever, coughing, nasal discharge or other signs of upper respiratory signs). In addition, the animal needs to be tested for other causes of illness. It is important to remember that animals have not been shown to play a role in the transmission of disease to humans, rather animals contract the disease after having been in close contact with a person that is shedding the SARS Cov-2 Virus.”
According to the CDC, in many cases, pets do not get sick, but some have suffered mild signs of a respiratory tract or gastrointestinal disease.
Click here to see confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in animals in the United States.
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