How are pets affected by the new coronavirus? Can you get COVID-19 from your pet?

SAQ: Your coronavirus questions answered by San Antonio ER doctor

SAN ANTONIOViewer Question: How are pets affected by the new coronavirus? Can you get COVID-19 from your pet?

“So first of all, you’re assuming that the pet has the illness. So there’s no way that you’re gonna get it from a pet that doesn’t have the illness,” Dr. Robert Frolichstein, an emergency room physician at Methodist Hospital said Thursday. "So I think the first step would be to keep the pet safe."

Dr. Frolichstein said in theory, the virus could be transmitted from a pet to a human, however, “I think the odds of that are so overwhelmingly low that it’s not really something that we ought to be worrying about right now,” he said.

Frolichstein said there has been some back-and-forth transmission of coronaviruses, but it’s rare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”

There have been a few cases of animals testing positive for the virus in the United States, including tigers at the Bronx Zoo in New York City and several house cats.

The CDC said people should treat pets as they would other human family members and don’t let them interact with people or animals outside the household. If someone inside the house gets sick, isolate the person from everyone in the home, including pets.

Study: Cats may get coronavirus, but experts say it’s nothing to worry about

Click here to watch Thursday’s full Q&A segments with Dr. Frolichstein.

KSAT12 is working hard to get answers to the most important questions you have about the new coronavirus and COVID-19.

Every weekday night during the 6 p.m. broadcast news and during the streaming KSAT News at Nine, we will have experts on to answer your questions and give the latest information about COVID-19.

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