Introduction – Thank you for joining us, I’m Dr. David Buelna from Circle B Veterinary Hospital in Katy Texas. We produced this article to inform our community of the latest information regarding Coronavirus and how it may affect us and our pets.
Currently there is 1 reported case of a dog testing weak positive and then again retested positive in Hong Kong. Since then, the dog has tested repeatedly positive which indicates a low-level infection of COVID-19. The dog is owned by a person who has the Coronavirus. The Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation department says “Experts from the School of Public Health of The University of Hong Kong, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences of the City University of Hong Kong and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have been consulted, and unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission. The dog has not shown any signs of disease related to COVID-19. It is currently under quarantine at the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge… The spokesman emphasized that there is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick. Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association (or AVMA) put out a statement which I have included as a link and will continue to monitor this situation.
Coronavirus or SARS-COVID 19 is a new virus first noted in Hubei province that has a rapid spread and now suspected 0.7% – 2.3% mortality rate. The mortality rate is not set in stone because there are many cases that are mild and do not go reported and geographical location has also demonstrated different rates. For instance, outside of the Wuhan area (remember the mortality rate is roughly 2% in Wuhan), the mortality rate was reported as 0.7%. This would push the mortality rate down overall. In comparison, the average mortality rate for the Flu for the last 10 years according to CDC data is 0.1 %. We know that COVID-19 has a higher mortality, but we do not have exact numbers.
Vaccines are being developed and a large amount of political coverage is occurring on this subject. We know that vaccine development for this virus is about 1 year out so this will not help us during the summer months as this virus spreads.
Masks should not be used unless you are sick. The frontline of our community dealing with this virus will need PPE (personal protective equipment) because they are in direct contact and treating infected patients. If the medical community gets infected – no one gets treated and the mortality rate increases. The infection rate in the medical community is a whopping 14.8%. If you are ill, a mask will prevent the microdroplets which carry the virus from being aerosolized and infecting others. Please do not hoard masks. This is affecting the veterinary community as there are already restrictions in purchasing surgical/protective masks from veterinary distributors.
Steps to stop the spread and help decrease infection – as reported by the AVMA and CDC
- Stop Shaking hands – Substitute a fist bump or a forearm bump, or a simple wave
- Practice Good Hygiene – Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and of course, after going to the bathroom always.
- If Soap and water are not available, use 60-90% Alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- If you feel sick stay home!
How Circle B will be implementing community protection while making sure your pets are taken care of!
- We will be starting our Blue-Ribbon TELEMEDICINE Program! You will now be able to get veterinary care and advice through video, text, and email. If you are sick or unable to bring your pet in, as long as you have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship at Circle B (which means you have come in to the clinic in the last year) you will be able to use this program! The program will start in March 2020.
- We will be saying Hi and not handshaking – Please don’t be offended!
- We will offer in car medicine pick up – You can pay by phone and we will bring it out to you! No need to get out of your car! Food or Medications!
- We already clean our rooms, but we will now be spraying Lysol in every area on top of our routine disinfectants.
- If you are sick and must come in, we will have masks and gloves available for you
Please feel free to ask any questions you would like, and we will answer them as quickly as possible!
Dr. David Buelna
Circle B Veterinary Hospital, PLLC