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Can my pet dog or cat catch COVID-19 and give it to me? Could the virus be on animal fur?

Two dogs in Hong Kong and a cat in Belgium have tested positive for COVID-19. There have been no reports of pets passing the virus to their human owners, and even human-to-pet transmission is not believed to be a significant path of viral spread.

However, if someone infected with the COVID-19 virus were to, for example, cough on a bench that a dog then brushed up against, picking up virus on its fur, and you then pet the dog, getting virus on your hands, and then touched your face and breathed in the virus, there’s a chance you could become infected. Depending on the conditions, the World Health Organization estimates the COVID-19 virus can survive for a few hours to several days outside the human body.

Drafted 30 March 2020

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