Can I Contract Coronavirus From My Horse? A Vet Responds

Just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality for people in the United States, the equine version of the coronavirus was making its way through show facilities and racetracks across the nation. Thankfully, the equine coronavirus is not transmissible to humans and is not the cause of the worldwide pandemic.

Dr. James Williams of Novato, CA, reports that the only way a human could contract COVID-19 from a horse would be for an infected human to cough onto a horse’s coat and then for another human to touch the horse (and the droplets), then touch his nose or mouth. This is the same way a non-infected human might contract COVID-19 from a countertop an infected person coughed on.

Thankfully, both scenarios seem highly unlikely: Most viruses are species specific. When horses are infected with the equine corona, they typically run a fever, have no appetite, are lethargic and have diarrhea. Rarely is their respiratory tract affected. Equine coronavirus typically lasts four to five days and recovery is generally uneventful. Supportive therapies may be used, including administering fluids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Equine coronavirus is spread between horses through the fecal-oral route: a horse must have direct contact with infected feces to contract the disease. Clinical signs typically begin between 48 and 72 hours after exposure; the horse will shed the virus in his feces three to four days after exposure. This may cause horse’s feces to test negative for the disease in its early stages. The horse sheds the most amount of disease three to four days after clinic signs begin.

Infected horses generally shed the disease for about three weeks. Asymptomatic shedders can also spread the disease. How long the disease can last in the environment is not known, similar to human coronaviruses. Equine coronavirus is often seen in cold weather, though transmission in warmer months is possible.

Read more at EquiMed.

The post Can I Contract Coronavirus From My Horse? A Vet Responds appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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