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Not much known about coronavirus and pets

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Pets, too, are dealing the coronavirus — many are getting a lot more attention because their human is staying home and playing with them.

But officials say it’s important to consider the health of pets during the pandemic.

“The first case of an animal testing positive for the virus in the United States was a tiger that had a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this month. There are unconfirmed reports that pets can be infected or spread the virus.

During the increased contact time, pet owners should practice healthy habits around animals as well as humans, the CDC says.

Anyone playing with or feeding pets, or handling food and supplies, should wash their hands.

People should practice good pet hygiene and clean up pet waste properly.

Anyone who is sick or who is diagnosed with COVID-19 is encouraged to limit contact with their pets until more information is known about the virus, the CDC says.

That means:

• Avoid contact with your pet including sharing food and being kissed, licked or snuggled.

• Have someone else care for the animal until you are well.

• If you are sick and must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after caring for them.

There is also no evidence that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association said Sunday.

Testing for the coronavirus in animals is ongoing.

If you have questions about your pet, contact your veterinarian.

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