Veterinary disease expert Prof. Scott Weese appeared on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, discussing why animals are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how veterinarians are responding.
He was joined by experts from the Toronto Humane Society and Grey Wolf Animal Health.
Weese is the chief of infection control at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and an expert in zoonotic diseases, or diseases that can spread from animals to humans.
Because of reports that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo and at least two dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive for COVID-19, Weese warns pet owners that pets need to physically distance from humans and other animals.
Weese recently spoke to The Canadian Press and said he is concerned pets could become vectors that transmit the disease from human to human, which is why he advises pet owners to restrict how many people their animals engage with.
Speaking on the same subject recently in a Farmtario article, Weese said farmers with COVID-19 symptoms should take precautions around farm animals so as not to transmit the disease to them. While such transmission is unlikely, it’s best to be careful until more is known about human-to-animal transmission.
Weese is a veterinary internal medicine specialist with the Department of Pathobiology at OVC. He researches many types of animal infection, including rabies and tick-borne diseases as well as antimicrobial resistance.