Canada’s top doctor says stay away from pets if you have symptoms of COVID-19
People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should keep a safe distance from household animals, according to a new warning from the Canadian government.
In a statement issued on Monday, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, warned that it "is possible" for pets to contract COVID-19 as a result of contact with a person who has the virus.
To date, there has been no evidence of pets such as dogs and cats spreading the disease to humans. However, Canada's Public Health Agency say it is possible for pets to contract COVID-19 as a result of contact with a person who has been infected with the virus.
From @CPHO_Canada: "There has not been evidence of pets such as dogs and cats spreading the disease to humans. However, it is possible for pets to contract COVID-19 as a result of contact with a person who has COVID-19, although it is still not clear how often this happens..."— Laura Stone (@l_stone) July 6, 2020
While it is not yet clear how often this happens and under what circumstances, Dr. Tam warns that people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay away from pets until they are feeling better.
"People should have another member of their household or friend, who is not sick, take care of their pets," she said in the statement.
"If this is not possible, always practise good hygiene; wash your hands often, especially before and after touching animals, their food and supplies."
Canada's top doctor also emphasized the importance of good hygiene, insisting that "it is always important" to wash your hands before and after you touch your pet or any of their belongings, such as toys, food and water bowls.
If you are taking your dog on a walk, remember to keep a two-metre distance from other dog walkers.
Dr. Tam added: "Just like you do for the humans in your bubble, remember to keep your pet protected in your bubble too."
The latest figures show that there's been a total of 105,536 cases of COVID-19 in Canada to date, including 8,684 deaths.
Two-thirds of people have now recovered and, over the past week, an average of 39,000 people were tested daily, with just 1 per cent testing positive.
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