Coronavirus questions answered: Can pets get coronavirus?

As the new coronavirus continues to spread out of China worldwide, you may not only be concerned for yourself and your family but also your pets.

"Both dogs and cats have the ability to contract a coronavirus but they can only get a species-specific version of the disease," said Dr. Graham Brayshaw, chief veterinarian at Animal Humane Society. "It cannot be transferred from animals to humans."

Dr. Brayshaw added that coronavirus is rarely fatal for dogs and cats, and most cats carry the virus but it usually remains dormant; Dogs can get it from one another.

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Coronavirus symptoms in cats are typically similar to an upper respiratory infection or a cold, Dr. Brayshaw said. In dogs, the virus usually involves gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea.

Like other viruses, coronavirus in pets can oftentimes be treated with medication and supportive care.

More than 17,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed, and 361 people have died from it, health officials said Monday. No cases have been confirmed in Minnesota, but 11 cases have been confirmed in the U.S.