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Zika and Pets

The United States Center for Disease Control has published information about the Zika Virus and pets.  Some of that information is below and you can follow the link to their website to learn more.

What we know:

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. At this time there have been no reports of other animals becoming sick with Zika or of being able to spread Zika to people or other animals.

  • At this time, animals do not appear to be involved in the spread of Zika virus.
  • There is no evidence that Zika virus is spread to people from contact with animals.
  • There have not been any reports of pets or other types of animals becoming sick with Zika virus. However, more research is needed to better understand Zika virus in animals.
  • Animals in the United States are not at risk of becoming sick with Zika virus.

Zika in animals

Zika virus was first discovered in a monkey with a mild fever in the Zika Forest of Uganda in the 1940s. Nonhuman primates (apes and monkeys) have shown the ability to become infected with Zika virus; but, only a few naturally and experimentally infected monkeys and apes have had any signs of illness at all, and then it was only a mild, transient fever without any other symptoms. A small number of monkeys were reported to have Zika virus in one study done in 2016 in an area of Brazil with high numbers of human illness. More research is needed to better understand the potential for monkeys and apes to be reservoirs for Zika virus. The prevalence of Zika virus in monkeys and other nonhuman primates is currently unknown.

There is also limited evidence from one study done in Indonesia in the late 1970s that horses, cows, carabaos (water buffaloes), goats, ducks, and bats could become infected with Zika, but there is no evidence that they develop disease or pose a risk for Zika virus transmission to humans. There have not been any reports of pets or other types of animals becoming sick with Zika virus. More information on Zika virus transmission is available here(http://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/index.html).

There have not been any reports of pets or other types of animals becoming sick with Zika virus.

Bringing pets or other animals into the United States

Some animals, including monkeys and apes, are not allowed to be imported as pets under any circumstances. Each state and US territory has its own rules for pet ownership and importation, and these rules may be different from federal regulations. You can find more information about animal importation here.