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Coronavirus Information


What do you need to know about coronavirus?

Published on February 28, 2020

A world map features the US and China.
(Image courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The AVMA is collecting information about potential veterinary supply chain issues related to the outbreak of COVID-19. This effort supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) work to identify and mitigate potential supply shortages.

The COVID-19 outbreak has raised concern about potential medical supply issues, including both pharmaceuticals and medical products such as personal protective equipment. As of Friday, February 28, no shortages were reported by any animal drug companies that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the U.S. market. However, six of the 32 firms told the FDA they were seeing supply chain disruptions that soon could lead to shortages. 

FDA officials said they were working with the firms to identify interventions to mitigate potential shortages, and had done similar work on the medical product/device side. The agency is sharing information on its website about the availability of drugs and medical supplies

The AVMA is supporting the FDA’s efforts by gathering information about drug needs and related concerns from veterinarians, practices/practice groups, and veterinary distributors. Please email information about any supply chain issues of concern to coronavirus@avma.org. Include detailed information about the product of concern and its manufacturer/distributor if possible.

Medical developments

Friday, February 28, also brought news that a dog in Hong Kong was quarantined after samples obtained from its nasal cavity and mouth tested “weak positive” for the virus that causes COVID-19. The dog’s owner has tested positive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2, formerly called 2019-nCoV)  and has COVID-19.

The implications of a “weak positive” test result are unclear, and it’s unknown if the presence of the virus is due to infection, environmental contamination, cross-reactivity, or even potential issues with the test itself. Hong Kong officials said the dog showed no clinical signs of illness, has been quarantined and is being cared for, and will continue to be monitored and tested to determine its status.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19

Coronavirus basics

Health officials across the U.S. remain on high alert due to COVID-19, and veterinary professionals might receive questions about the virus from other staff members and clients. Here’s what veterinary professionals need to know about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19:

Looking for more information?

Find more information about 2019-nCoV and its impact on the CDCWorld Health Organization (WHO), and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) websites. These pages may be of additional interest: