Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, New York was tested positive for coronavirus. This makes us think that can our pet also get infected? should we worry about our pets? what measure can we take in order to ensure that our pets are safe and healthy?.
Nadia is the first animal who has been tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 in the US. Later, the zoo authorities demanded permission for testing her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions who all were experiencing the same thing. So, to put some light on this news and to answer some of your questions which might get you worried about your pet, we have presented some helpful information that can clear your mind and thoughts regarding the same.
How do you test an animal for coronavirus?
The test of the animals involves an oral swab, a nasal swab, and a procedure called a tracheal wash. The samples for these tests are acquired from an animal’s airways. In the case of the Bronx Zoo, only Nadia was tested because collecting diagnostic samples in big cats requires general anesthesia.
Where did the Tiger get tested?
Now, most of you must be thinking that we already lack in testing kits and how did Nadia got tested?. Nadia was tested at veterinary diagnostic labs. The zoo also informed that the testing did not take a test or resources from human health efforts. Though their appetite has been decreasing they are recovering at a rapid pace.
Do you need to worry about your pet?
Generally, to get infected by COVID-19, a sick person’s saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze need to get transmitted through contact. So there is no reason to think that animals can be a source of infection. But just to be cautious, if you are sick or have any signs of asymptomatic COVID-19 please stay away from your pet. This is because researchers are yet to confirm the transmission and cause of the virus. The Tiger from the Bronx Zoo was tested and diagnosed only because she showed symptoms. There can be a possibility that your pet won’t show any symptoms but you need to make sure that your pet is living in a safe and healthy environment. Also, make sure your cat or dog is not coming in physical contact with anyone.
Can the virus live on an animal’s fur?
Studies have shown that virus can live on a variety of surfaces. But it is very unlikely to say that it can also live on an animal’s fur. According to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, COVID-19 live on plastics for 72 hours, on stainless steel for 48 hours, on cardboard for 24 hours and on copper for 4 hours. But they haven’t tested on animal’s fur. Generally, the virus lives on smooth and non-porous surfaces. So it is very unlikely that your pet can transmit you the virus because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous. But still, you need to practice good hygiene around your pet including washing your hands before and after interacting with them.
Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had mentioned that there have been complaints about pet owners letting loose their animals. He cleared the air by saying, there has been no case anywhere in the world of domesticated animals contracting or spreading coronavirus infection, and people should not abandon their pets.
So maybe in this time of lockdown maybe it’s your pet who keeps you happy and occupied most of the time. So make sure you and your pet both are living in a safe and healthy environment.
Don’t have time to read? listen to some of our best podcasts here anywhere anytime.