Infected not infectious: How dogs and cats have become the victims of COVID-19
Infected: Can dogs and cats be infected by SARS-CoV-2?
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a number of positive cases in companion animals (see our blog on why testing in companion animals should be limited). But equally as important, are the negative results.
Infectious: Can dogs and cats transmit SARS-CoV-2 to people?
“Currently, there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant epidemiological role in the spread of human infections with SARS-CoV-2.” OIE. Evidence of transmission from dogs or cats to people would require clarity on two factors; timing and other transmission routes. A person would need to become sick with COVID-19 after their dog or cat had shown signs of infection AND all other possible routes of transmission from people would need to be excluded. Because they are in contact with many more dogs and cats than most people, veterinarians and shelter workers would be most at risk for this kind of transmission. Thankfully, there appears to be no greater prevalence of COVID-19 in these workforces.
With over 4 million human cases worldwide we have an abundance of complex, uncontrolled but undeniably valuable epidemiological evidence about transmission. The extremely small number of infections from people to dogs and cats, and the lack of any examples of transmission to people, is meaningful.
Dogs and cats are not playing a role in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to people.
These companion animals are the victims of this reverse zoonosis; they are (rarely) infected but not infectious.
(See link for article)