COVID-19 is a new illness caused by the coronavirus that can affect the lungs and airways. Human coronaviruses are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. While some people suffering from COVID-19 have mild symptoms and can recover, in others, it is fatal.
COVID-19 has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses, the source of COVID-19, can infect people, and more rarely, these can spread from person to person through close contact. This is the case with COVID-19, which is spread in cough droplets. The consensus among researchers studying the spread of the virus pinpoints COVID-19’s likely origin to a “wet market,” or live animal market, in Wuhan, China.
The World Health Organization says there’s currently no evidence that household pets can contract or spread COVID-19. A dog in Hong Kong tested “weakly” positive for the virus in February, but experts believe it was due to superficial contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends restricting contact with pet dogs, cats or other animals if you get sick with COVID-19 until there is more information known.