Toolkit: One Health Approach to Address Companion Animals with SARS-CoV-2




Recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Based on Companion Animal History
Animal History Facemask Facial Protection (face shield, goggles) Gloves Protective Outerwear (gown or coveralls1) N95 Respirator or suitable alternative2
N Y Y Y Y
Aerosol-generating procedure on a SARS-CoV-2 test-positive animal3 N Y Y Y Y

1 Reusable (i.e., washable) gowns are typically made of polyester or polyester-cotton fabrics. Gowns of these fabrics can be safely laundered according to routine procedures and reused.

2Respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-certified disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirator is best practice. However, if an N95 or other respirator is not available, use a combination of a surgical mask and a full-face shield.

3Aerosol-generating procedures, such as suction or bronchoscopy, should be avoided, if possible, on any animals that are test-positive for SARS-CoV-2.

When a SARS-CoV-2 test-positive animal can be isolated at home

Companion animals that do not require hospitalization can be returned to their caretakers to undergo home isolation. See What to Do if Your Pet Tests Positive for the Virus that Causes COVID-19, which has recommendations for owners of test-positive animals; the state public health veterinarian and state animal health official may recommend that owners adhere to this guidance.

A protocol for home isolation applies to all animals that are test-positive and do not require hospitalization. This protocol involves daily monitoring, isolation recommendations, and movement restrictions.

Daily monitoring

Companion animals that are confirmed to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 and can be isolated at home should be monitored daily by the owner/household members for signs of illness.

If a SARS-CoV-2 test-positive companion animal develops new or worsening symptoms, the owner should inform the treating veterinarian and arrange for the animal to be transported to their veterinary facility or to another previously identified veterinary facility that can provide appropriate care. The treating veterinarian should also inform the state public health veterinarian and state animal health official of the animal’s status, whereabouts, and treatment/care plan.

Isolation recommendations

For the duration of isolation, have the companion animal stay in a designated “sick room” if possible, or otherwise be separated from people and other animals. This is the same way a COVID-19 positive person would separate from others in their household.

Although there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to humans, these precautions are recommended out of an abundance of caution until more is known about virus transmission. CDC provides recommendations on how to limit interaction with the isolated companion animal as much as possible.

Regardless of whether the household member has been sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, household members that are providing care for an isolated companion animal should protect themselves and follow CDC’s cleaning and disinfecting recommendations.

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, some people may have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19.Where possible, people with an increased risk  of severe illness should avoid caring for animals that are test-positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Movement restrictions

Below are activities that should be avoided until the companion animal is cleared to return to normal activities:

  • Walks outside (except when unavoidable for elimination);
  • Visits to veterinary facilities, without prior consultation with the treating veterinarian;
  • Visits to human healthcare facilities, long-term care facilities, schools, or daycares;
  • Visits to parks (including dog parks), markets, or other gatherings such as festivals;
  • Visits to the groomer, including mobile grooming salons;
  • Visits to pet daycares or boarding facilities;
  • Serving as a therapy animal; and
  • Other outings such as playdates, hikes, or visiting other homes or stores.

Repeat testing of a SARS-CoV-2 test-positive companion animal

Where deemed appropriate, repeat testing of companion animals for SARS-CoV-2 should be conducted in coordination with the state public health veterinarian and state animal health official. Federal partners, including CDC and USDAexternal icon, should be consulted as relevant.

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