TGen testing canines, cats for Arizona well being department-funded research

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(AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth)

PHOENIX – The Translational Genome Research Institute started a study on Wednesday testing dogs and cats from Arizona that were infected with COVID-19.

TGen hopes to study SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in animals to see if there is any evidence that pets can transmit the virus to humans.

So far, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus. Four pets – two dogs and two cats – tested positive for COVID-19 in Arizona.

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

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

Dog and cat owners who have tested positive in the past two weeks can let their pets participate.

Testing is free and owners must be 18 years old to give their consent and complete a questionnaire.

Pets must also be vaccinated against rabies, kept primarily indoors, and tolerant of the handling and restraint required for routine veterinary care.

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