UK records first case of human-to-dog COVID transmission

There is still no clear evidence to suggest pets can directly transmit the disease to their owners.

UK records first case of human-to-dog COVID transmission
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A pet dog has contracted Covid-19 from its owner. This is the first reported case of human-to-dog transmitted in the UK. According to the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, the pooch has been undergoing treatment and is recovering quite well.

No Evidence

Tests conducted by officials of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on 3 November, diagnosed the dog with coronavirus.

Its owner had previously tested positive for Covid-19. The pet is said to be recovering at home.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

Tests conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency have confirmed that the virus responsible for Covid-19 has been detected in a pet dog in the UK. It is very rare for dogs to be infected, and they will usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.

Health officials do not think the animal could have been involved in the transmission of the virus to its owners. There is also no evidence to suggest that pets and other domestic animals can transmit the disease to humans.

There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change.

Continue to Wash Your Hands

In the meantime, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is advising the public to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

Dr Katherine Russell, Consultant Medical Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

COVID-19 is predominantly spread from person to person, but in some situations the virus can spread from people to animals. Pet owners can access the latest government guidance on how to continue to care for their animals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In accordance with international health requirements, the case was reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.

There have been a very small number of confirmed cases in pets in other countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

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