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Can pets infect people with COVID-19?

Can pets infect people with COVID-19?

Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses; some of them cause diseases to people, while others affect certain animals, such as cattle, camels and bats.

Some examples of illnesses caused by coronaviruses that were transmitted from animals to people are: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This may be what happened with the current coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

The first cases of people infected by COVID-19 are related to a live animal market, but now the virus is being spread from person to person.

World Health Organization and other expert institutions are working hard to find the origin of COVID-19.


Pets and COVID-19

Some coronaviruses that affect pets (cats and dogs) could be able to infect people, but this is highly unlikely.

There are no confirmed cases of pets infected by COVID-19. And there is no evidence to say foreign animals help spread COVID-19.

Additional research is needed to know how COVID-19 could affect different animals.

How to stay healthy if you have animals?

Despite having no evidence that animals can be a source of COVID-19 transmission, it is always recommended to have good hygiene habits if you have pets. All kinds of animals carry illnesses that can affect people.

  • Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste and supplies.
  • Keep your pet clean and disinfect the area properly.
  • Practice regular visits to your pet’s veterinarian and provide any relevant information about your pet. Clarify all your concerns about your pet’s health.


How to protect your pet if you are sick?

If you are sick with COVID-19, even if it is not confirmed, you should avoid having contact with your pet, and take the same safety measures you would with people. If possible, leave your pet’s attention to another member of your household. Otherwise, you should take extreme hygiene measures before and after interacting with any animals.

Long Walks Change Your Life

Long Walks Change Your Life

Walking is medicine that cures anxiety, sparks inspiration, and brings us back to ourselves.


Yesterday, I walked in the rain from my village and down into the valley, then upwards and into the woodlands. This is my childhood village. One woodland stands above and another at the bottom of the valley. On either side of the village, farmlands blanket endless rolling hills. A patchwork of green fields bordered by hedgerows and drystone walls cut across the landscape in every direction. Wildflowers and farm animals abound, and the picture is dotted with the occasional ancient farmhouse or barn.

The late sun spilled light through the trees and onto the footpath, and every so often a grey squirrel would scurry across my path and ascend the nearest tree until out of sight. Whenever you walk into the woods it feels as if you have entered a sanctuary. Trees are mysterious to me, like gods or mystics, infinitely wiser than humans, all-knowing, all-seeing, and we can only admire them from below.


I always choose the woodlands

I could have walked anywhere, but In the woods I walk amongst my ancestors, and I am home.

The paths I most enjoy are woodlands with fallen trees and branches on the ground, and no clear footpath. You have to find your own way through a deadly labyrinth of nettles, thorns, spines, and prickles.

After walking along the narrow woodland path, I came across a lonely stream, which flowed through the heart of the woodlands and down the valley. A father watched over his young daughter, a happy girl, as she played with twigs and sticks and hopped across the stones that sat on the water. Some distance later, the trees stopped before a train track, which stretched across into the distance in a perfect straight line. When I re-entered the woodlands, I was absorbed once again by the trees, the leaves, the sprays of sunlight, the crawling insects, the wet mud, and carried on toward the village.

Eventually, after about an hour and a half of walking, I reached the end of the footpath: a cricket pitch at the top of a hill in a village called Shepley. At this point, I had a view of the entire landscape, including a full scope of my village on the hillside opposite. Beyond the village, I could see yet more farmlands and woodlands, a Victorian village church, and in the far distance, Emley Moor, a broadcasting tower that pierces through the sky and watches over every village southeast of Huddersfield.

Over the years, I must have walked this same route a thousand times, yet I’ve never tired of its charms. If one is attentive enough, every walk is an opportunity to see new sights and hear new sounds. I learn the shapes and curves of different trees and plants, and I notice how they change throughout each season. On my walks I am in a constant, slow-burning rapture.

In nature, you leave yourself behind.

Usually, I walk without a plan. I have nothing to achieve; the beauty is in the walking, in the journey itself. Suddenly, ideas arrive. Stories unfold. Meaning and purpose are restored. Beautiful words, long sentences, poetry and rhyme, answers to dreaded questions. I often regret not carrying a notepad to write my thoughts down.

In nature, you leave yourself behind. You are nobody in the woods. When faced with a particularly difficult problem, I find it’s always healthier to just get out of the house and go for a walk rather than trying to force the answer.

For in the repetition of walking you empty yourself out, free yourself of opinion and expectation, and embody once again humanity’s innate character. In this state of emptiness, your mind begins to clear. Freedom of movement stimulates the mind, bringing forth divine wisdom. A free body is a free mind; being sat in offices and cubicles day and night, makes us forever stupid and loyal customers.

I have days that require I sit inside the office or the library all day and work until the end. And on these days I always feel as if there is a small stove slowly burning in my stomach. If evening comes and I have not walked far at all, then this fire cannot be contained and I get so anxious that I cannot concentrate on even the simplest of tasks. My body’s energy does not find release through physical exertion, and transforms into worries, doubts, fears, because the untapped life force whirls and spins around my mind. The life force I should be expressing through physical exertion turns back on my body and slowly destroys me.

I take long walks because I have a body.

If I do not use my body then I become bad-tempered and apathetic. Those who concentrate solely on their intellect and leave the body behind tend to be rigid, stern characters, and unhealthy. Each of us seems to have a primal drive toward life, which finds its easiest expression in the act of walking and moving forward through the natural world. In my experience, all anxious and depressive feelings seem to dissipate when walking along a woodland path. And if you walk far enough you eventually achieve a state of joy, and you are relieved. You are free in search of the springs of life. A long walk is a rebirth of consciousness; one never returns quite the same, and is always better off for it.


When the worst guests ever come to visit! Head Lice and Toddlers

When the worst guests ever come to visit! Head Lice and Toddlers

A very common infestation of tiny insects on the scalp and along the hair shafts, that spread head to head by contact. Head lice are extremely common among children in pre-school and elementary ages, and it is very likely that kids get reinfected unless all the parents in a group treat their children at the same time, even if some of them do not have head lice. A child may have only one or two lice, but if they are not treated, this number multiplies very quickly.

Head lice feed by sucking very small amounts of blood from the scalp, which causes intense itching. Head lice can’t fly or jump, but they move from head to head by crawling. Head lice are undiscerning creatures that will infest anyone’s hair, regardless of how clean it is.

What are the symptoms of Head lice?

The first sign of head lice is usually the itching, and you will see your child scratching their head repeatedly. If you examine your child’s hair closely, you might be able to see the lice. Once lice are fully grown they’re about 3mm long, but they camouflage very well. Some people call head lice ‘nits’, but this is the name for the empty egg shells left by hatched lice. They are creamy grey colored and very well cemented to the hair shaft, which makes them hard to remove. They are mostly seen near the scalp due to the warmth from the head that encourages them to hatch. Eggs can be removed by using your nails to pull them down the hair shaft.

What are the treatments and remedies of Head lice?

Treatment is either by wet combing – using a special nit comb and plenty of conditioner on wet hair until all signs of nits and lice have gone- or by using a proprietary over-the-counter lotion or shampoo. Some are chemical, others natural. You shouldn’t use any chemical treatment on children under two years old. You may find the best solution for your child through trial and error, or ask your pharmacist what is best to use as some head-lice have developed resistance to some of the treatments in some areas. Prescription treatments, including oral medication, are available if the lice are very resistant to other treatments.

How To Prevent Head Lice: Top Products to Help

I know there are a ton of head-lice treatments and prevention products out there. Here are three that moms in my area are using and recommending:

Lice Knowing You Detangler and Conditioning Spray

Lice Knowing You Detangler and Conditioner Spray


I recently purchased this at the recommendation of a mom friend who uses it regularly on her three kids. You spray it in your kid’s hair in place of your regular detangler and it helps keep lice away. It’s a little soapy when you initially apply it, but a quick comb-through and it’s gone. The herbal scent is pleasant and there aren’t any weird or scary ingredients, so it’s safe to use every day. An easy first defense for preventing head lice!

LiceGuard RobiComb Electronic Lice Comb

LiceGuard RobiComb - Lice-Zapping Comb


A friend whose daughter has had several bouts of head lice told me about this electric comb that kills nits and lice on contact. You comb through your child’s hair and when the comb encounters a louse or a nit, it zaps it with a tiny electrical charge. There are several different brands of these combs on the market, at varying price points. I haven’t purchased one yet but I’m definitely considering it.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo with Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus BotanicalsThis one was recommended to me by another mom friend who has three kids. She uses it on her kids whenever they get a notice about a lice outbreak at their schools, and so far, so good (they’ve never had head lice). Apparently the little buggers aren’t fond of strong herbal smells and oils like tea tree, menthol and eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary. This is not a tear free formula, so it will be tricky to use on my kids. California Baby offers a tea tree and lavender shampoo for kids that I’m eyeing for them instead. Another option is to add some pure tea tree oil to your family’s shampoos.


I tell my children not to swap hats and hair bands, coats and clothes, but they’re kids, and they forget. So I have to take matters into my own hands and begin preventing head lice now. Otherwise, I might be using my hands to painstakingly comb through their hair (and mine) to find and remove lice. I’m itching just thinking about it.


This guide

This article is not meant to substitute medical advice provided by a practicing medical professional – if you have any concerns, contact your physician immediately.





4 tips for New Moms

4 tips for New Moms

baby safety

September is Baby Safety Month, which just so happens to coincide with our anxious wait for the arrival of our first child…how fitting! Leading up to September has been a fun and strange combination of gearing up while also paring down. We got the cute outfits, figured out how to execute the perfect “swaddle” and made room in order to create a cozy nursery. But just as important, we focused our energies on making our home safe for our little man.

First things first, my husband, JP, and I knocked out the easiest steps: checking our carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm to ensure they were both in working order. Check! (Admittedly, creating and crossing off checklists became a serious sport for me during this time. It also perhaps gave me an inflated sense of accomplishment, which explains the exclamation points.)

After we got our crib—in 7,000 little pieces/husband not enthused—we assembled it and then made sure to make it a safe sleeping environment for baby. As tempting as it was to fill it with cute stuffed animals, a chic bumper and a bunch of sanity-saving accessories, those items have no place in a baby’s crib. Simplicity is the name of the game here: a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is really all you need. Check!

Next up was our car seat. Being a Safe Kids employee doesn’t grant me immunity from an improperly installed car seat. In fact, 73% of car seats are not used or installed correctly. That’s why we made sure to review car seat safety guidelines and check out a local car seat check up event to ensure we’re safely transporting our bambino. Check!

Even though our baby won’t be eating solid foods for awhile, it’s never too early to think about choking prevention , too. Children under 5 should not be given foods that are small, round or hard (think hot dog pieces, cheese sticks or chunks, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn). These food items can put your child at risk for a choking episode. And while we’re on the subject, it’s a great idea to sign up for a CPR class as a new—or repeat—parent as well. The more peace of mind, the better. Check!

As a soon-to-be new parent, I can attest that taking these preventative steps has been fairly simple but also has provided JP and me with a sense of confidence and calm. I know that we can’t control everything that may or can happen to our little guy. All those bumps, bruises and crazy little things that you can’t predict are part of growing up, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But I also know that if you have the knowledge and tools to reduce serious risk, than why not check it off the list?


Tooth Care for Children

Tooth Care for Children

Dental health is vital for general health and appearance in childhood and all through life. Preventive dentistry is so good these days that our kids can look forward to keeping those pearly whites bright and shiny all their lives. And we now know so much about keeping fear and pain out of dental care that kids should really have no reason to worry when it’s time for one of those twice-a-year visits.

Here are a few things you can do to be sure your child gets the right care and develops an attitude that will ensure that his smile stays bright for a lifetime.

Pick a kid-friendly dentist.
There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in kids’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your community, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude, and comfort with children tell you this will be a good experience. Your healthcare provider will have suggestions.

Visit ahead of time.
Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place.

Examine your own attitude about the dentist.
Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can give unspoken negative messages about the dental chair. The parent who can be the most positive about the visit should be the one to go with the child.

Respect those baby teeth. 
Even though your child will lose his first teeth, proper care for them, including fillings, coatings, and extraction of teeth that have died, are all part of ensuring that the teeth underneath and the jaw grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that weren’t options when you were a kid. Ask about fluoride rinses.

Here are a few things you can do at home between visits to keep things sparkly:

    • Teach kids to brush twice a day. Good times are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise the brushings for kids under 7.
    • Use a soft-bristle brush. Hard ones scrape the gums and can foster bacteria. Replace the brush every three to six months, or sooner if it wears out.
    • Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for two to three minutes. That’s what it takes to get things really clean.
    • Check on fluoride. Contact your healthcare provider about using fluoride supplements. The kind and amount will depend upon the fluoride content in your local water. Don’t assume you don’t need it if your child drinks bottled water with fluoride, as it may not be enough.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. Some kinds of gummy candy or fruit rolls are mostly sugar and stick all day to the chewing surface of the teeth.

With good dental care at home and in the dental office — as well as the right amount of fluoride — your child should go through adulthood with a white, bright smile.

by Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.

What Causes Hives and Angioedema?

What Causes Hives and Angioedema?

Hives or Urticaria is an outbreak of pale red plaques that appear on the skin causing itching or burn, whether in response to certain allergens or without a known reason. This is a reaction of the body to the histamine released from cells due to blood plasma leaks out of vessels in the skin. These plaques can appear anywhere on the body and sizes can go from a little bug bite to cover all the back surface, since they join together to form big plaques. They can last for a couple hours or for a few days.

Angioedema is similar to hives, but is characterized by deep swelling around the eyes, lips, genitals, hands, and feet. Swelling is deeper than in hives. It usually lasts longer than hives, but swelling disappears in less than 24 hours.

Rarely, angioedema occurs on the throat, tongue, or lungs, causing difficulty breathing.

Learn more