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COVID-19 not transferred via pets, reference laboratory says

Antech Diagnostics has been validating samples submitted to its surveillance program to ensure there is no evidence of the virus in companion animals

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A Mars Petcare-owned diagnostics company agrees with the conclusions of leading human and animal health organizations: There is no evidence companion animals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

Antech Diagnostics says it is validating samples submitted through its active surveillance program to ensure there is no evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the companion animals tested.

The surveillance program, Antech says, involves testing samples from dogs and cats submitted for respiratory PCR analysis. These animals have typically presented with flu-like symptoms associated with many common viral and bacterial infections, which are generally not transmissible to people.

“We are actively monitoring the situation and communicating regularly with our academic partners, veterinary customers, veterinary health organizations, and government agencies internationally,” says Antech’s vice president of medical affairs and commercial marketing, Jennifer Ogeer, BSc, DVM, MS., MBA, MA. “We’re grateful to be aligned in a shared mission to protect the health and safety of both companion animals and humans, and stand ready to share data from our surveillance program to dispel misinformation, protect public health, and support our veterinary customers as needs evolve.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) are among the health groups that have stated there is no evidence to suggest companion animals can transfer COVID-19 to humans.

Antech says it will report any discovery of SARS-CoV-2 to health authorities immediately.

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