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Veterinary Association says negligible chance of COVID 19 moving from dogs and cats to humans

ECONOMYNEXT – Pet owners can relax, your pooch won’t give you COVID 19, as there is a negligible chance of the virus moving from a cat or a dog to a human according to the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA).

Niranjala de Silva President of the SLVA in a statement issued Sunday April 26 said that there are no records of the COVID 19 virus transmitted to humans from dogs or cats, the most common pet in Sri Lankan households.

Professor Ashoka Dangolla of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya says that there have been no incidents of transmission of COVID 19 from an animal to a human.

“Coronaviruses are present in many animals well as humans, but we are yet to see in Sri Lanka COVID 19 in any animal,” he said in a YouTube video.

There have been instances overseas where a dog, a cat and a lion have been infected “but in each case, they were associated with a COVID 19 positive human,” he added

The SLVA, confirming that also said that the rare cases where pets were infected were when they were closely associated with humans who were COVID 19 positive therefore there is “no need to be afraid of stray dogs in your area as a source of infection.”

The SLVA President Dr. de Silva also contested media reports that a dog in the Suduwella area had contracted COVID 19.

The Director-General Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe was also quoted in media saying that the dog would be tested.

The Association also said that there is no requirement for pets to be tested for COVID 19. Even human tests require a specially equipped laboratory and there are no facilities at the moment to test animals.

The SLVA advises pet owners to look after your pets the usual way.

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It says, as COVID 19 is spreading among humans rapidly you should protect your pets, as your pooch can get the virus from people.

The SLVA advises you to wash your hands before and after handling your pets and avoid being licked or kissing or snuggling your pets. (Colombo, April 27, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana