While it’s believed that COVID-19 came from animals in Wuhan, China, it is not yet confirmed whether or not household pets can contract the virus.
Due to numerous rumors that pets can contract and pass on coronavirus, the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) on the Washington State University campus in Pullman has begun limited testing of animal samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent for coronavirus.
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So far, WADDL has tested two cats, who have both tested negative for coronavirus.
The first cat, which had lived with a person who was diagnosed with coronavirus, was tested at the request of another state’s agency after it had passed away . The necropsy revealed that the animal had a common feline heart disease. All tests came back negative for SARS-CoV-2.
The second cat was tested at the request of a state agency and is living with no signs or symptoms of the disease. The cat was quarantined with its owner, who was diagnosed with coronavirus, and tested negative after nasal and throat swabs.
WADDL is currently only testing certain animals upon request of agencies Their tests don’t require human health testing resources and will not be using additional personal protective equipment (PPE).