Concerned pet owners in China are reportedly taking steps to protect their dogs and cats from the possibility of contracting the coronavirus.
Photos of pets wearing makeshift surgical masks have been cropping up on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Pet owners are modifying human surgical masks to fit their pet’s faces out of fear a pet may transmit the novel coronavirus, formally named COVID-19, to other people or animals.
The World Health Organization has stated that there is no evidence to suggest that pets can be infected with the coronavirus, a finding consistent with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in California.
Experts have reassured people that their pets are unlikely to catch the infection, but sales of the masks are soaring.
— LADbible (@ladbible) February 12, 2020
“Coronaviruses occur in virtually every species of animal, including humans, and are commonly associated with unapparent or transient intestinal and respiratory infections,” Dr. Niels Pederson stated on the school’s website earlier this month.
“They tend to be very species-specific and cross-species transmission is uncommon,” Pederson wrote.
The WHO has not reported any cases of the coronavirus in domestic animals and released an official statement about pets and the coronavirus to hopefully quell fears among pet owners.
“At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus,” WHO stated on its website, although the organization also reminded visitors that it’s “always a good idea” to wash up after touching even domesticated animals.
“If pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected,” spokesman and epidemiologist Li Lanjuan told The Sun.
“By then, pets need to be isolated. In addition to people, we should be careful with other mammals especially pets,” Lanjuan said.
Sales of pet masks have skyrocketed in China, The Sun reported.
Dogged by fear.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 14, 2020
As confirmed cases of the coronavirus in humans have climbed to over 64,000 globally with nearly 1,400 deaths, Fox News reported Friday.
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