WPT Coronavirus Info Page
Our aim here is to provide a frequently updated source of information on the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special emphasis on those of us who share our lives with companion birds, especially parrots.
If you have questions or find other useful information, please feel free to write to us and send links to: [email protected]
Are my birds safe from COVID-19, and is my family safe around my birds?
The short answer is yes, your bird can not become infected by this strain of coronavirus and so you can also not get the virus from your birds. To date, that appears to be true for dogs and cats as well, as they too are not susceptible to COVID-19.
This helpful document from the University of California at Davis is the most clear and authoritative source we have found regarding these questions.
Note there are 39 known strains of coronaviruses, and COVID-19 is just one of those strains.
Naturally, and as always when providing a healthy home for companion birds, it remains important to take sensible and reasonable steps toward the hygiene of your birds’ environment and your home environment – providing a clean, safe, and healthy environment for all captive birds.
In cases where someone in your home is experiencing active infection of COVID-19, all surfaces in that environment can potentially be a source of infection, whether that’s a countertop, a door knob, a mobile phone, as well as of course a dog’s fur, or a parrot’s feathers. Please seek guidance from your local or national health authorities on how best to respond and manage your home under such circumstances.
In the USA, the CDC provides detailed information here.
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) provides a detailed Q&A on Covid-19 and companion animal health.
Recent News and Stories of Use
Old but widely used therapy being tested for potential value to fight COVID-19
Naturally, health experts are talking about this “convalescent therapy” with due caution, but this approach – harvesting of antibodies to a given pathogen from the blood of people who have been infected and survived – has been in use for over a century.
26 March story in the New York Times states:
“On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat some severe cases. A day earlier, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York would become the first state to begin testing serum from people who have recovered from Covid-19 to treat those who are seriously ill.
“It’s a trial for people who are in serious condition, but the New York State Department of Health has been working on this with some of New York’s best health care agencies, and we think it shows promise,” Mr. Cuomo said.”
What is COVID-19?
This piece may be a helpful bit of background explaining how COVID-19 fits into the bigger picture of viruses around the globe, and microbes in general, plus a bonus of finding out where this strain of coronavirus got its name.
If you liked that and Zimmer’s writing style, for a deeper read, have a look at a short but fascinating book by the same author called A Planet of Viruses.
Loss of sense of smell and taste?
This piece is a fascinating and potentially useful story about the loss of sense of smell and taste as unique symptoms in people with relatively mild cases of COVID-19.
The World Parrot Trust is a registered charity. As an international leader in parrot conservation and welfare efforts, since 1989 we’ve aided more than 70 species in 43 countries, returning thousands of parrots to the wild and protecting millions more from the threat of extinction.