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COVID-19 and your pets: What are the risks?

The American Veterinary Medical Association said it’s “very unlikely” a person would contract the virus by touching or playing with pets. (Source: CNN)
The American Veterinary Medical Association said it’s “very unlikely” a person would contract the virus by touching or playing with pets. (Source: CNN)(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 4:25 PM EDT
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Monday, March 16, 2020

AUGUSTA, GA (CNN) -- Multiple health organizations have stated that domestic pets and animals aren’t at risk for contracting COVID-19.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said it’s “very unlikely” a person would contract the virus by touching or playing with pets.

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, said you should practice good hygiene by bathing your pets and washing your hands after playing with them as they can carry other diseases.

The AVMA also advised people who have contracted the novel coronavirus to limit interactions with their pets out of an abundance of caution.

Experts agree that the focus is to use common sense.

“You might want to figure out alternatives, like walking your dog on a different route that isn't populated with so many people," Castle said.

Castle said that people who are staying at home have the perfect opportunity to enjoy more time with their pet, and even to consider fostering or adopting a new furry member of the family.

“That’s a proven fact that your pets can really calm you down, help calm the family down, because they are the constant," Castle said.

Copyright 2020 CNN. All rights reserved.

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