Covid-19: 'Pet owners should follow hygiene rules' 

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ELAZIG, Turkey (March 24): Hygiene rules to protect against coronavirus are also important for pets, a medical expert said on Tuesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that pets have no role in the spread of coronavirus, Mehmet Calicioglu told Anadolu Agency.

Calicioglu, the dean of the Veterinary Science Faculty at Fırat University, advised pet owners to follow hygiene rules to protect from the virus.

The fact that the virus does not infect pets or grow in their bodies does not necessarily mean that they will not mechanically transmit the disease, just like a door handle, he stressed.

"A patient can infect his/her pet dog by sneezing and coughing. The pet does not get sick from it, but then the dog can carry the disease to other people. Apart from this, cats, dogs, birds have no role in spreading the disease," he added.

So following hygiene rules, including washing hands with soap before and after touching them, is essential also for avoiding the spread of the virus from pets during this critical period, the expert said.

Calicioglu also warned that the pets should not be taken to crowded places.

Some diseases are specific to either people or animals, and coronavirus only affects people but does not harm animals, he noted.