Prof. Scott Weese, Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College, spoke to both the Toronto Star and Yahoo! News Canada about what might happen if the new coronavirus begins infecting household pets.
This new virus began in animals and evolved to infect humans, and it is possible it could potentially evolve again to infect pets.
“What we don’t want to happen is to have this virus establish in the domestic animal population to create another reservoir for it,” Weese told Yahoo! News. The key to avoiding that, he said, is keeping people sick with Covid-19 away from other people, and away from all animals including pets.
Although there is no evidence that dogs or cats can contract the coronavirus, Weese told the Toronto Star he wants to make sure Canadian public health authorities are considering what would happen if they do.
Weese recently broached this topic on his blog, Worms & Germs.
Weese is the director of U of G’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses as well as the chief of infection control at OVC, where he researches animal infections, including rabies, tick-borne disease and antimicrobial resistance.