COVID-19 and Animals
What we know about COVID-19 and how the virus affects animals is rapidly evolving. COVID-19 has been reported as being isolated from animals that were in close contact with people known to be infected with the virus, but there is no evidence that animals can transmit the virus to people. This holds true for animals in agriculture.
There is also no evidence that the virus can be transmitted to people through animal products.
Below are links to valuable resources concerning COVID-19 and animals and guidance for veterinarians. We are closely monitoring the situation and will update resources as they become available. Read here for a complete list of animals confirmed positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
January 24, 2021 - First Identified Case of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Domestic Cat in Arkansas
Little Rock, AR, January 24, 2021 -- A Central Arkansas house cat has been confirmed to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (ADA) together are joined in a One Health (OH) effort to provide information to the Arkansas public in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One Health is an organized effort to collaborate multiple subject-area disciplines to attain optimal health solutions for people, animals and their environment. One Health combines local, national, and global efforts.
A neighborhood practice veterinarian chose to test the cat for SARS-CoV-2 after finding
unusual signs of disease
and learning the pet’s owner was confirmed to have suffered from COVID-19. Veterinary clinical support staff wore
personal protective equipment (“PPE”, including face masks) when in contact with the owner and while handling
the cat to prevent potential spread of the virus. The veterinarian reports the nine-month-old cat appears to be
recovered and healthy at this time.
January 11, 2021 - USDA confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in three gorillas at the San Diego Zoo.
Washington, D.C., January 11, 2021 -- The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in three gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California. These are the first gorillas in the United States to be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Samples from several gorillas were taken after two began coughing. All eight of the gorillas in the troop are being re-sampled and monitored. The gorillas are expected to fully recover. It is suspected that they acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member with COVID-19, despite precautions taken by the zoo. Read more.
August 17, 2020 - USDA confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in mink at Utah farms.
Washington, D.C. August 17, 2020 - The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in mink at two farms in Utah. These are the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in mink in the United States. The affected farms also reported positive cases of COVID-19 in people who had contact with the mink.
After unusually large numbers of mink died at the farms, the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory completed necropsies on several of the affected animals. Samples were forwarded and tested presumptive positive for SARS-CoV-2 at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Both laboratories are members of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The presumptive positive samples were then sent to NVSL for confirmatory testing. Read more.
June 2, 2020 - USDA announced a confirmed COVID-19 case in a canine.
Washington, D.C. June 2, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in a pet dog (German shepherd) in New York state. This is the first dog in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Samples from the dog were taken after it showed signs of respiratory illness. The dog is expected to make a full recovery. One of the dog’s owners tested positive for COVID-19, and another showed symptoms consistent with the virus, prior to the dog showing signs. A second dog in the household has shown no signs of illness; however, antibodies were also identified in that dog, suggesting exposure. Read more.
Previously released statments on COVID-19 and animals
FDA guidance on marketing of veterinary products for use in people
- Ridding a COVID-19 field hospital of pigeon pests – remotely
- How bats live with coronaviruses
- Amid pandemic, TWS urges consideration of biodiversity in wildlife trade