TGen testing dogs, cats for Arizona health department-funded study

Mar 11, 2021, 4:05 AM
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)...
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

PHOENIX — The Translational Genomics Research Institute began a study Wednesday testing Arizona dogs and cats who have contracted COVID-19.

TGen hopes to investigate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in animals to see if there’s any evidence pets can spread the virus to humans.

There’s no evidence so far suggesting pets can spread the virus. Four pets — two dogs and two cats — have tested positive for COVID-19 in Arizona.

“We want to better understand the risk factors leading to any form of COVID-19 transmission between humans and animals,” Hayley Yaglom, a genomic epidemiologist and lead TGen investigator on the study, said in a press release.

The study is being funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Dog and cat owners who have tested positive in the past two weeks are eligible to have their pets participate.

Testing is free and owners must be 18 years old, provide consent and fill out a questionnaire.

Pets must also be vaccinated against rabies, mainly be housed indoor and be tolerant of the handling and restraint necessary for routine veterinary care.

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TGen testing dogs, cats for Arizona health department-funded study