STOP MISINFORMATION – consult official sources on coronaviruses in animals

By Nathan Gregory

MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE — Pets and other domestic animals are not considered at risk for contracting COVID-19, and the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine recommends that animal owners consult the American Veterinary Medical Association to get the facts.

Dr. Kent Hoblet, dean of the college, encouraged animal owners to consider AVMA guidelines as their primary resource on vaccines and animal illnesses related to COVID-19 and refrain from sharing misinformation circulating through social media and other unofficial sources.

One common falsehood involves COVID-19 — one of many types of coronaviruses — infecting animals.

“No animals in the United States have been identified with COVID-19,” Hoblet said. “A canine respiratory coronavirus and a canine enteric coronavirus do exist and may cause illness in pets, but they are not related to the current human coronavirus infections.”

Another misconception involves a cattle vaccine for COVID-19, Hoblet said. While there is a vaccine for use in cattle with bovine coronavirus, the components are not related to the virus currently affecting humans.

“Bovine coronavirus infections have been known for many years to cause disease in cattle,” he said. “Clinical signs of infection usually involve calf diarrhea, adult dysentery or respiratory disease as part of the shipping fever complex. Bovine coronavirus is not transmissible to people. The vaccine for use in cattle will neither infect nor protect humans.”

For the most current information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.

The AVMA webpage dedicated to answering questions regarding coronavirus in animals can be found at https://www.avma.org/blog/what-do-you-need-know-about-coronavirus.

 

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