A doctor on Good Morning Britain has claimed that there is no evidence that pets can pass coronavirus on to humans.
Speaking on Friday’s instalment Dr Amir Khan spoke with Alex Beresford and Charlotte Hawkins about the risk of catching the virus from cats and dogs.
‘This may worry a lot of people,’ the GP began. ‘It has long been known that pets can get coronavirus particularly cats and ferrets, it’s the shape of the receptor that the virus bines to.
‘It is very similar in cats and ferrets as it is in humans.
‘What is really important to state, is that there is no evidence to suggest that pets or animals can pass coronavirus to humans, it’s the other way around.’
The TV doctor went on to explain that despite the fact that animals can pass the virus on to other animals, viewers ‘mustn’t worry about catching it from your pet’.
‘Most of the evidence around coronavirus in animals suggest they only get very mild symptoms,’ he added.
‘I know people will be worried about their pets. I don’t think we need to rush into anything like testing pets and animals, just yet, I think the important focus is getting infection rates down in humans.’
Last month it was reported that a house cat had tested positive for the virus in South Korea.
In the capital of Seoul, pets will be offered free tests as an added precaution for stopping the spread of the virus.
Dog owners have also been told to keep their pets two meters away from other people and animals.
Last year, researchers in Canada started investigating when and how pets can become infected with the disease.
Coronavirus can be spread from person to person via the surface of pets, e.g. by stroking.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.