Can Wild Animals or Domestic Pets Carry Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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The unprecedented international crisis that is COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has forced many Americans to withdraw into their homes to assist in “flattening the curve.” Indeed, with confirmed cases in the Tampa Bay area, the CDC and the White House have recommended the practice of social distancing from large crowds in order to slow and reduce the spread of the infectious disease.

With so many home and pet owners locked up inside, Tampa residents and their furry friends may begin to experience cabin fever — especially if they are joined by invasive wild animals such as raccoons, bats, or rodents looking for a place of their own to hunker down.covid-19

If this extra time indoors leads you to discover the presence of unwelcome wildlife on your premises, such as bats, then you may have some alarming questions that we can help answer during these uncertain times.

Can Bats Spread Coronavirus?

While the animal-to-person infection is rare, coronaviruses commonly originate in different species of animals, including bats, camels, cattle, and cats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that, just like the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, the novel, or new, coronavirus outbreak did originate from bats — the source of which has been linked to an open-air, live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, where a patient zero likely consumed a diseased animal.

Now, the novel coronavirus is a global pandemic that is present in 150 locations, including the United States. Since the initial transmission, however, the virus has spread strictly person-to-person with no risk of diseased bats outside of the virus’ epicenter.

Are Wild Animals or Pets Hosts for Coronavirus?

Thankfully, there have been no documented or recorded cases of any animals, domesticated or otherwise, becoming sick with COVID-19 to date. However, out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those who are infected or are at a higher risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus limit direct contact with other humans as well as pets until more information about the virus is known. Healthy, uninfected pet owners, however, should increase their sanitization practices but are free to interact with their pets as they normally would.

Furthermore, officials and infectious disease experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC have agreed that there is no evidence to support the notion that pets or wild animals can catch, carry, or spread the coronavirus to other animals or humans. But unfortunately, there are other serious diseases that wild animals can carry and spread — such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, rabies, and salmonella — which can make both people and pets extremely sick.

Safeguard Your Home from Diseased Wildlife

If wild animals are present on your property or in your home, do not attempt to remove them on your own. Doing so may be illegal and could put your safety and the safety of your loved ones at risk. Instead, contact the wild animal removal professionals at Critter Control® of Tampa. Our expert technicians will quickly remove any nuisance wildlife from your property so you can focus on the continued well-being of your family and pets during this difficult time. For more information or to schedule a free and sanitary property inspection, contact us today at 813-328-5629.

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