COVID-19 and our animals

At AMRRIC, we understand that COVID-19 news can be scary – this is a stressful and challenging time for us all. We are especially concerned for vulnerable Australians living in rural and remote communities. We encourage everyone to follow the human health messages as recommended by your local authorities. Some links to useful messages are listed below:
Northern Territory Government
Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services 
Australian Indigenous Health Info Net

People might be wondering about the health of animals and their role in the spread of COVID-19. There is no evidence that animals in your home or community can spread COVID-19 to people. The main risk of infection is by human-to-human contact with someone who has COVID-19 or from contact with contaminated surfaces.  

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for more than 20 seconds. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if you have some, try to rub hands together with sanitiser for more than 20 seconds. It is best to stay within your own home and avoid contact with other people.
Watch a video on hand washing here:
World Health Organisation

Remember that animals can still spread other germs or parasites that can make us sick. You should always wash your hands before and after patting your animals, feeding your animals or touching their bowls or toys. It is always best to avoid close contact with your animals – try not to kiss them, cuddle them to your face or let them sleep in your bed. Try to clean your home with disinfectant in areas where animals sleep and eat.  

There have been a few reports of animals being infected with COVID-19 overseas, however, this has been very rare and only happened in animals owned by people who have tested positive to COVID-19. There have been no reports of animals infected with COVID-19 in Australia, and there is still no evidence that animals can spread COVID-19 to people. For the latest on COVID-19 and animals see:
Australian Veterinary Association
World Organisation for Animal Health 

Frances Grant
Author: Frances Grant