There has been some speculation and rumors about whether people can catch COVID-19 from household pets or if pets can catch it from them. This may be causing your elderly parent to worry about spending time with their beloved pet. Knowing more about the risk could provide your parent some relief and also ensure both pets and people stay safe.
What Are the Risks to People from Animals?
First, you should be aware that there are several different kinds of coronavirus, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Some kinds of coronaviruses can be spread from animals to people. Scientists believe that the current strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, started in a live animal market in China where it then spread to people. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that no one knows exactly how the virus started.
Currently, the virus spreads mainly from one person to another. This occurs when a person infected with the virus coughs or sneezes and another person comes into contact with the respiratory droplets.
The CDC states that there is no reason to believe that family pets in the United States can spread COVID-19 to people. They are also not considered a source of infection in this country.
Are Pets at Risk?
To date, there have been zero reports of pets having gotten COVID-19. However, there have been some cases of animals outside the U.S. contracting the virus after close contact with a human who had the virus. Still, there hasn’t been any evidence suggesting pets can spread the virus to people or to other pets.
The CDC is keeping a close eye on how people and animals might be infected. They are also working with animal health professionals to update the country of any changes.
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
The bottom line is that there is no reason your elderly parent shouldn’t seek comfort and stress relief from their pets through petting and cuddling. However, the CDC still recommends that people who have symptoms of COVID-19 limit the amount of contact they have with pets.
If your older family member contracts COVID-19 and is able to remain at home, an elder care provider can help them to take care of their pet while they recuperate. Elder care providers can take dogs outside as well as watering and feeding pets. An elder care provider can also ensure the pet gets the attention and affection it needs while your parent isn’t able to care for them.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering elder care in Gaithersburg, MD please contact the caring staff at Nest & Care today at (240) 226-3310.