Can humans become infected with the 2020-coronavirus from an animal source

The animal source of the 2019-nCoV has not yet been identified.  This does not mean you can catch 2019-nCoV from any animal or from your pet.


It’s likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections.

To protect yourself, when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.

Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans in China in 2002 and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.  As surveillance improves around the world, more coronaviruses are likely to be identified

The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Aren’t there canine coronaviruses? 

Yes. But the novel strain is not related to any of the canine coronaviruses. 

There are two types of specific canine only coronaviruses dogs can get. One causes gastrointestinal upset, and the other causes respiratory infection. And there is a canine coronavirus vaccination, but Dr. Teller says your pooch may not need it.

How can I avoid getting it?

Experts say take the same precautions you would to avoid catching a cold, wash your hands and avoid sick people. 

“The biggest way these viruses are spread are not from animals but from people to people,” says Dr. Teller “We need to take precautions when interacting with wildlife but most of these are spread from person to person.”

Visit the CDC and WHO websites for more information