These are stressfull times for everyone. And we all are watching the news
while trying to live our life as normal as possible. While we are getting a lot info from the human site the question is raised what is the situation in VM?
While we do not know much yet, more info is coming slowly and importantly it is changing constantly. So all info is regarded as fluently.
So far we can say that despite a wide spread in humans, currently there is no rapid increase of pets with symptoms that resemble COVID 19 - disease in humans.
IDEXX laboratory screened pets in the US for COVID 19 and did not find an increase infection rate. There is a very limited numbers of pets from sick owners hat have been tested positive for COVID 19. In Hong Kong two dogs from Covid 19 positive owners and one cat from a positive tested person from Belgium, tested positive. So this means that a sick owner can pass the disease on to their pet. This means NOT that pets give us the disease. People should not abandon their pet. If you have any doubts, or need any info on how to handle your pet, please reach out to your veterinarian. Here is a video from the HK uni addressed to pet owners: https://www.cityu.edu.hk/jcc/news/20200310
So, for now, all we can say for sure, personal hygiene and social distancing measures work. Stay home if you can. A sick person in the household should keep distance to other people in the household and this should include the pets if possible. Practice good hygiene measures with your pet like you do with people.
Social distance measures and hygiene in veterinary clinics are just as important and there are many guidelines available and they will be updated.
For us veterinarians it means we need to stay alert as pets from sick owners may act as fomite. Keep looking out for guidelines coming from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other global public health authorities and local veterinary authorities and communities. Every country likely has different measures.
Let's all do our part and participate in social distance and overall good hygienic measures. Take good care of your pet, it will keep you sane in worry-some times. Reach out to your vet for more information as needed.