The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an official health advisory on COVID-19 misinformation. Please see the Fighting Misinformation and Tips & Tools pages for information and strategies addressing this important issue.
Vaccines are readily available, and children ages five years and up may now be eligible. Please visit the New Jersey COVID-19 vaccine dashboard for more information on availability and immunization procedures, including appointments and locations.
This guide will help you find reliable, accurate and current information about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
How does COVID-19 affect my pet?
Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have updated advisories that "there is a possibility for some animals to become infected through close contact with infected humans." Studies are underway analyzing the susceptibility of different animal species to the COVID-19 virus and to assess how transmission may occur, and farmed mink have been found to be particularly susceptible. However, the predominant mode of transmission remains human to human, and per the OIE, "there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare."
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has an updated advisory that felines are susceptible to COVID-19, and other animals have shown positive tests for antibodies; animals contracting the virus experience only mild symptoms. It is still not known how likely it is that an exposed companion animal may contract COVID-19. Transmission of the virus from animals to humans is still under study, however, as a COVID-19 positive human may infect some companion animal species. There is now a vaccine for affected animals.
Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets, and both the CDC and the WSAVA advise that pet owners who are ill should wear protective masks and gloves when interacting with their pets. Click here for more about what you need to know about COVID and pets.
For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in animals in the U.S., visit the Dept. of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.
Per the Centers for Disease Control, "Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with... this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2)." The illness caused by this virus is known as "coronavirus disease 2019," or COVID-19.
There are several types of COVID-19 tests currently available:
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) - nasal swab test - The nasal swab PCR test for COVID-19 is the most accurate and reliable test for diagnosis. A positive test means you likely have COVID-19. A negative test means you probably did not have COVID-19 at the time of the test. Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. [Source: The Cleveland Clinic]
Antibody test (serology test) - Looks for antibodies in your blood that fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibody tests should generally not be used to diagnose a current infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. An antibody test may not show if you have a current infection because it can take 1 to 3 weeks after the infection for your body to make antibodies. [Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)]
Antigen test - This COVID-19 test detects certain proteins in the virus. Using a nasal swab to get a fluid sample, antigen tests can produce results in minutes. Others may be sent to a lab for analysis. A positive antigen test result is considered accurate when instructions are carefully followed, but there's an increased chance of false-negative results — meaning it's possible to be infected with the virus but have a negative result. [Source: MayoClinic.org]
You can find more information via the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC or the other sources cited above.
NJ Dept. of Health COVID-19 info line - 888-222-2222 - use 800-962-1253 for out-of-state cell phones
State & Local
Three vaccines that prevent COVID-19 have been approved by both the CDC & Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for U.S. distribution - Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). Using data gathered from state health departments and daily reports, NBC News has created a continuously updated map showing doses administered in each state. Click the map to view latest update.