20 Nov CDC shares preliminary results from One Health Household Transmission Investigation
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from people to pets can occur in householders with people who have COVID-19, according to preliminary data shared by a CDC One Health Household Transmission Investigation. The results were shared with veterinary organizations on November 17, 2020 during the CDC One Health Working Group meeting.
The investigation systematically evaluated pets residing in 34 households with laboratory-confirmed human COVID-19 cases in two states, Utah and Wisconsin. The investigation sampled 56 pets, 37 of which were dogs and 19 of which were cats. The CDC deployed two veterinary field teams to the households in Utah and Wisconsin from April through May 2020 to collect oropharyngeal, nasal, and rectal swabs as well as fecal and blood samples from the pets. Additionally, owners completed a questionnaire for each enrolled pet in the household.
The median time from symptom onset of the household’s human index case to the first date of pet sampling was 27 days.
Of the pets sampled, 33 pets had frequent daily contact with the human index case prior to diagnosis. Of those 33 pets, 14 pets had decreased contact with the human index case after the human’s COVID-19 diagnosis. None of these pets were seropositive. Of the 33 pets, 19 of the pets had stable or increased contact with the human index case after diagnosis. Four pets (21%) of those were seropositive.
The results show that household transmission of the virus from people to pets may be higher than originally thought; the results support the current CDC guidance and highlight the importance of COVID-19-positive people restricting contact with pets and other animals to prevent person-to-animal transmission of the virus.
CVMA will continue to participate in informational calls with the CDC COVID-19 One Health Working Group and will share additional updates and information as it becomes available.