Coronaviruses of mammals and birds have been recognized for decades, although until now few have caused disease in people beyond the common cold. In humans, previous outbreaks of clinically serious illness occurred in 2003, 2012 and 2018. Each of these outbreaks has required an intermediate host including the civet cat, dromedary camel, and now the horseshoe bat and pangolin, in the novel SARS-CoV-2 pandemic strain that causes COVID-19 disease is some infected people.
There is currently no evidence that companion pets or other domestic animals can spread SARS-CoV-2 to humans or other animals. Further, testing of samples from thousands of pets for SARS-CoV-2 have all been negative. Discussed are the current diagnostic screening and confirmatory antigen and antibody tests; recommendations for social distancing, protection with face mask, and gloves, and hygienic preventive and precautionary measure; and the rapidly changing status of various therapies, as well as vaccine development to curb this pandemic.