The FDA is working with U.S. government partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical product manufacturers, and international partners to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Find the most recent FDA updates on our Coronavirus Disease 2019 page.
These frequently asked questions are for a general public or consumer audience. Other audiences may want to refer to more detailed information:
- Emergency Use Authorizations for (COVID-19)
- FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2
- FAQs on Food Safety and COVID-19 for Industry
- FAQs for Healthcare Professionals (CDC)
- FAQs for Specific Audiences (CDC)
A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
A: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
A: The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. View the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask, unless they are caring for someone who is sick (and that person is not able to wear a facemask).
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place; after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
A: People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. People with mild symptoms are able to recover at home. If you experience a medical emergency such as trouble breathing, call 911 and let the operator know you may have COVID-19. For severe illness, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Currently there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of COVID-19. Researchers are studying new drugs, and drugs that are already approved for other health conditions, as possible treatments for COVID-19. The FDA is working with drug manufacturers, researchers, and other partners to accelerate the development process for COVID-19 treatments. CDC has more information for health care providers about these potential treatments. Never take a prescription medicine or drug if it is not prescribed for you by your doctor for your health condition.
A: No. Always follow the instructions on household cleaners. Do not use disinfect sprays or wipes on your skin because it may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are not intended for use on humans or animals. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces.
View the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
A. Many retail stores and pharmacies sell hand sanitizers. However, we understand that many stores have run out of hand sanitizers and they may be difficult to find. To help increase the availability of hand sanitizers, the FDA has issued guidance for the temporary preparation of alcohol-based hand sanitizers by some companies and pharmacies during the public health emergency posed by COVID-19.
The FDA does not recommend that consumers make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. The agency lacks verifiable information on the methods being used to prepare hand sanitizer at home and whether they are safe for use on human skin.
See the Q&A for Consumers: Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19 for more information.
A. Call your doctor if you experience a serious reaction to hand sanitizer. FDA encourages consumers and health care professionals to report adverse events experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:
- Complete and submit the report online; or
- Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.
- Include as much information as you can about the product that caused the reaction, including the product name, the manufacturer, and the lot number (if available).
See Safely Using Hand Sanitizer for more information.
A: There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drug products for COVID-19. You can report websites selling fraudulent medical products to the FDA through our website, by phone, or mail. Learn more...
A: Critical infrastructure industries, including many FDA-regulated industries such as food, drugs, and medical equipment, have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. On March 19, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued guidance on defining essential workers. This guidance offers an initial baseline for governments and industry to use when identifying key groups of employees during COVID-19 response. This guidance is not binding and serves as a starting point for local and state governments. View more frequently asked questions from CISA.
A: If you are experiencing issues with your supply chain, delivery of goods, or business continuity, please contact: CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov.
A: Biological products include a wide range of products such as vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Biologics can be composed of sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these substances, or may be living entities such as cells and tissues.
A: At this time there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The FDA is working with vaccine developers and other researchers and manufacturers to help expedite the development and availability of medical products such as vaccines, antibodies, and drugs to prevent COVID-19. Read more about what FDA is doing to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
A: In general, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus.
A: In general, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus.
A: Blood donors must be healthy and feel well on the day of donation. Routine blood donor screening measures that are already in place should prevent individuals with respiratory infections from donating blood. For example, blood donors must be in good health and have a normal temperature on the day of donation.
Donors are instructed to contact the donor center if they become ill after donation, so that their blood or plasma will not be used. Even when a donor develops COVID-19 after donation, however, there have been no cases of COVID-19 linked to donor blood or products made from blood.
FDA has provided additional information to blood establishments on its website.
A: At this time, the FDA does not recommend using laboratory tests to screen blood. Someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, is not healthy enough to donate blood. Standard screening processes already in place will mean that someone with these symptoms will not be allowed to donate.
A: If you are healthy and interested in donating blood, the FDA encourages you to contact a local donation center to make an appointment. One way to make a difference during a public health emergency is to donate blood if you are able.
- AABB: www.aabb.org; +1.301.907.6977
- America’s Blood Centers: www.americasblood.org
- American Red Cross: www.redcrossblood.org; +1.800.RED CROSS (+1.800.733.2767)
- Armed Services Blood Program: www.militaryblood.dod.mil; +1.703.681.8024
A: Respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by implantation, transplantation, infusion, or transfer of human cells, tissues, or cellular or tissue-based products (HCT/Ps). The potential for transmission of COVID-19 by HCT/Ps is unknown at this time. There have been no reported cases of transmission of COVID-19 via HCT/Ps.
Routine screening measures are already in place for evaluating clinical evidence of infection in HCT/P donors. Read more…
A: Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 patients develop antibodies in the blood against the virus. Antibodies are proteins that might help fight the infection. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for this disease and there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19. Further investigation is still necessary to determine if convalescent plasma might shorten the duration of illness, reduce morbidity, or prevent death associated with COVID-19.
A: COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood. Individuals must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and meet other laboratory criteria. Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before donation of convalescent plasma. You can ask your local blood center if there are options to donate convalescent plasma in your area. FDA included contact information for blood organizations in its March 19, 2020 statement on blood donations.
A: At this time, there are no FDA-approved drug products to treat COVID-19. The FDA is working with drug manufacturers and investigational new drug sponsors to expedite the development and availability of COVID-19 treatments. Read more about FDA’s actions to address the novel coronavirus with medical countermeasures.
Researchers are studying new drugs and drugs that are already approved for other health conditions as possible treatments for COVID-19. CDC has more information for health care providers about these potential treatments.
A: No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19), because COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Some patients with COVID-19 may also develop a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia. In that case, a health care professional may treat the bacterial infection with an antibiotic.
A: No. Miracle Mineral Solution does not cure COVID-19 and has not been approved by the FDA for any use. The solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. For more information, see: FDA warns consumers about the dangerous and potentially life threatening side effects of Miracle Mineral Solution and Danger: Don’t Drink Miracle Mineral Solution or Similar Products.
A. No. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are available in the United States by prescription only for the prevention or treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions such as lupus.The FDA is working closely with other government agencies and academic centers to determine whether chloroquine can be used to prevent COVID-19 or treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. More information about the clinical trials studying these medicines can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.
A. No. Products marketed for veterinary use, “for research only,” or otherwise not for human consumption have not been evaluated for safety and should never be used by humans. You should not take any form of chloroquine unless it has been prescribed to you by a licensed healthcare provider. Chloroquine products also should not be given to pets or livestock, unless prescribed by a veterinarian.
A: We have established a cross-agency task force dedicated to closely monitoring for fraudulent COVID-19 products and claims. We have reached out to major retailers to ask for their help in monitoring online marketplaces for fraudulent COVID-19 products. Products sold are subject to FDA investigation and potential enforcement action if they claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 and have not demonstrated safety and effectiveness for that intended use. The task force has already worked with retailers to remove more than a dozen of these types of product listings online.
On March 6, 2020, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued warning letters to seven companies for selling unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law by making unapproved claims to treat COVID-19. View the warning letters for more information.
A: The FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.
We have been reaching out to manufacturers as part of our approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. We will use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and health care professionals when a potential disruption or shortage is identified.
Find real-time information about drug shortages.
Learn more in our drug shortages frequently asked questions.
A: Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, including food and drugs for humans and pets. There have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.
A: If you have additional questions, call FDA’s Division of Drug Information at (855) 543-3784 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Currently there is no FDA-approved or cleared test to diagnose or detect COVID-19 because the virus that causes COVID-19 is new. Therefore, the FDA has issued several Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the use of new diagnostic test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. During public health emergencies declared under section 564 of the FD&C Act, the FDA is able to issue EUAs when certain criteria are met that allows for the use and distribution of potentially life-saving medical products to diagnose, treat, or prevent the disease, which can include diagnostic tests.
A. To be tested for COVID-19, a sample is typically collected from your nose and/or throat with a special swab at a designated collection location staffed by health care professionals. Currently, a health care professional swabbing the back of the nasal cavity through the nostril is the preferred choice. Alternatively, the health care professional could may swab the back of your throat, or for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 the sample could may be collected by swabbing the inside of the front of the nose. Depending on, among other things, the type of swab used, a health care professional may collect the sample, or you may be able to collect the sample yourself at the collection site under the supervision of health care personnel.
A: At this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. The FDA sees the public health value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection, and we are actively working with test developers on this goal. You can find listings of tests that have received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as well as labs and manufacturers that have notified FDA as set forth in the FDA's Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019.
A: More than 100 companies have requested and received the FDA-developed Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) template for diagnostics for this outbreak. This template will help to expedite the development and authorization of other diagnostic products under EUAs. The templates for these diagnostic testing EUA submissions are now available on our website. If you need additional information, please refer to the FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2.
A: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators, such as N95 respirators. Not everyone is able to wear a respirator due to medical conditions that may be made worse when breathing through a respirator.
A: See CDC’s infographic: Understanding the Difference: Surgical Masks and N95 Respirators. More information on personal protective equipment, including surgical masks (facemasks) and N95 respirators, is available on the FDA’s website.
A: The FDA has been working closely with PPE and ventilator manufacturers to understand their supply capabilities during this pandemic. The agency is also aware of challenges throughout the supply chain that are presently impacting the availability of PPE products and is taking steps to mitigate shortages that health care facilities are already experiencing.
The FDA issued new guidance to give ventilator manufacturers and non-medical device manufacturers more flexibility to start making new ventilators and parts. We adjusted our screening of PPE and medical devices at U.S. ports of entry to expedite imports of legitimate products into the U.S. With CDC we took action to make more respirators, including certain N95s, available to health care personnel for use in health care settings.
The FDA encourages manufacturers and healthcare facilities to report any supply disruptions to the device shortages mailbox at email@example.com.
A: The FDA determined that certain respirators approved by NIOSH and authorized by FDA under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) may be effective in preventing health care personnel from airborne particulate exposure, including exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Given the increased demand and supply challenges on the availability of respirators, at the CDC’s request, the FDA granted an EUA to CDC that helps to provide additional respirators to enable more healthcare personnel in healthcare settings to have access to this potentially lifesaving personal protective equipment. Please see the CDC website for a list of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators.
A: N95 respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and surgical gowns are designed to create a non-disease specific barrier to penetration of substances, solids, liquids, or airborne particles. In general, neither FDA nor the manufacturer can provide assurances that PPE will protect you against a specific disease. If performance data has met FDA requirements and demonstrate protection against a specific disease, the product labeling generally will state the claim for protection against a specific virus or bacteria. See FDA’s Questions About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) web page for more information.
A: Please refer to CDC Release of Stockpiled N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Beyond the Manufacturer-Designated Shelf Life for more information.
A. Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes protective clothing, gowns, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks, and respirators or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness. While it is possible to use 3D printing to make certain PPE, there are technical challenges. 3D-printed PPE may provide a physical barrier, but 3D-printed PPE are unlikely to provide the same fluid barrier and air filtration protection as FDA-cleared surgical masks and N95 respirators. The CDC has recommendations for how to optimize the supply of face masks. Find more information in the FDA guidance.
A: Please contact the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)’s Division of Industry and Consumer Education (DICE) for general questions and information.
If you need additional information completing the diagnostic EUA template or wish to consider use of an alternative specimen type, please contact the Division of Microbiology Devices at (301) 348-1778 or email CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov.
If you have questions about the EUA for personal respiratory protective devices, including N95 respirators, please email CDRH-NonDiagnosticEUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov.
A: There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no widespread disruptions reported in the supply chain.
FDA is closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.
A: There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States or imported from countries affected by COVID-19 can transmit COVID-19.
A: Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.
If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat. Consumers can follow CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.
A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness and not gastrointestinal illness, and foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. That’s why it’s always critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.
A: Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in some communities in the U.S. The CDC recommends that if you are sick, stay home until you are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
Anyone handling, preparing and serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often.
A: CDC recommends that employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. We recommend that businesses review CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers for planning and responding to coronavirus disease. Also see the FDA’s Retail Food Protection: Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook.
A: CDC recommends routine cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. CDC does not recommend any additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning at this time.
View the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
Restaurants and retail food establishments are regulated at the state and local level. State, local, and tribal regulators use the Food Code published by the FDA to develop or update their own food safety rules. Generally, FDA-regulated food manufacturers are required to maintain clean facilities, including, as appropriate, clean and sanitized food contact surfaces, and to have food safety plans in place. Food safety plans include a hazards analysis and risk-based preventive controls and include procedures for maintaining clean and sanitized facilities and food contact surfaces. See: FSMA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food.
A: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
CDC recommends everyday preventive actions for everyone, including service industry workers and customers:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
A. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no scientific evidence indicating that any animals in the United States, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States. To date, there have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
The FDA is aware that more than one dog has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, based on information from the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department. There is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.
A. There is currently no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. Global health organizations are monitoring the outbreak’s potential impact on animal health and will notify the public if new information becomes available.
A. To date, there have not been any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.
If your animal appears to be ill, you should contact your veterinarian just like you would for any health concern. In order to ensure the veterinary clinic is prepared for your pet, you should call ahead and arrange the hospital or clinic visit. If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you might be sick with COVID-19, a family member or friend from outside your household may bring the animal to a veterinary hospital or clinic. Regardless of who takes your pet to the veterinarian, follow the animal hospital’s advice on proper safety precautions prior to arrival. Showing up to a veterinarian’s office unannounced could put staff or other pet owners at risk, even if you are not showing symptoms or have resolving symptoms.
A. Although there is no evidence that pets can get sick from COVID-19 or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, you may wish to quarantine your pet for the same amount of time as people are being asked to quarantine – 14 days.
A. No. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals” are drugs. The FDA has not approved any drugs for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of COVID-19 in animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) regulates veterinary biologics, including vaccines, diagnostic kits, and other products of biological origin. Similarly, APHIS CVB has not licensed any products to treat or prevent COVID-19 in animals.
The FDA has taken action against fraudulent products intended to prevent or cure COVID-19. The public can help safeguard human and animal health by reporting any products claiming to do so to 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332).
A. Yes. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals and do not infect humans. For example, bovine coronavirus causes diarrhea in young calves, and pregnant cows are routinely vaccinated to help prevent infection in calves. This vaccine is only licensed for use in cattle for bovine coronavirus and is not licensed to prevent COVID-19 in cattle or other species, including humans.
Dogs can get a respiratory coronavirus, which is part of the complex of viruses and bacteria associated with canine infectious respiratory disease, commonly known as “kennel cough.” While this virus is highly contagious among both domestic and wild dogs, it is not transmitted to other animal species or humans.
Most strains of feline enteric coronavirus, a gastrointestinal form, are fought off by a cat’s immune system without causing disease. However, in a small proportion of these cats, the virus can cause feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease that is almost always fatal.
Other species, like horses, turkeys, chickens, and swine, can contract their own species-specific strains of coronavirus but, like the other strains mentioned above, they are not known to be transmissible to humans. More information is available in AVMA’s fact sheet about coronaviruses in domestic species.
A. To date, there have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
There is no data to suggest that current or previous infection with another strain of coronavirus would make your pet more or less likely to get COVID-19.
A. Species-specific coronavirus vaccines are unlikely to work against this type of coronavirus because it is a new virus that is different from the species-specific strains of coronavirus targeted by the vaccine.
A. While you should not avoid necessary visits to your veterinarian due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you should exercise reasonable caution just like you would if you were going to any other public place. If you are concerned about your own health or that of your pet when going to the veterinarian, contact their office in advance to discuss any recommended precautions.
A. The FDA has been and is continuing to closely monitor the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak may impact the animal medical product supply chain.
We have been reaching out to manufacturers as part of our approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. We will use all available tools to react swiftly to help mitigate the impact if a potential disruption or shortage is identified.
Learn more on our Animal Drug Shortage Information page.
A. Because COVID-19 is spreading rapidly from person to person, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for human healthcare professionals exposed to COVID-19 cases is critical. The FDA is aware that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand globally, the supply chain for these devices will continue to be stressed as demand exceeds available supplies. The FDA has received information from healthcare organizations that some distributors may have placed certain types of PPE on allocation, basing the quantity available to the healthcare organization on previous usage, not projected use. Increased use may exceed the available supply of PPE, resulting in shortages at some healthcare organizations.
The FDA recommends conservation strategies for use by healthcare organizations and personnel—categorized for a range of clinical needs and supply levels—intended to assist healthcare organizations in determining conservation procedures during this time. The FDA’s recommendations are intended to augment, and not intended to replace, specific controls and procedures developed by health care organizations, CDC, or CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) to aid in infection prevention and control.
The FDA is collaborating with manufacturers of surgical masks and gowns to better understand the current supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to avoid any widespread shortages of these products.
The FDA will continue to keep healthcare providers, manufacturers, and the public informed if new or additional information becomes available.
A. On March 24, 2020, the FDA issued this guidance to facilitate veterinarians’ ability to provide veterinary telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency intends to temporarily suspend enforcement of portions of the federal veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) requirements relevant to certain FDA regulations. The VCPR is the professional relationship between the veterinarian, client (e.g., animal owner or caretaker), and the animal patient(s). The federal VCPR definition requires that veterinarians physically examine animal patients and/or make medically appropriate and timely visits to the location where the animals are kept. Therefore, the federal VCPR definition cannot be met solely through telemedicine.
To help veterinarians utilize telemedicine to address animal health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, FDA does not intend to enforce the animal examination and premises visit portion of the VCPR requirements relevant to FDA regulations governing Extralabel Drug Use in Animals and Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs. This will allow veterinarians to prescribe drugs in an extralabel manner or authorize the use of VFD drugs without direct examination of or making visits to their patients, which will limit person-to-person interaction and the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Given the temporary nature of this policy, the FDA plans to reassess it periodically and revise or withdraw this guidance as necessary.