Antech Diagnostics, part of Mars Veterinary Health, reported today that it has found no evidence of the virus that causes COVID-19 in people in its ongoing surveillance of cat and dog samples submitted for analysis.
Leading human and animal health organizations agree that there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats in a home environment can be a source of COVID-19 infection to other animals or to humans. Antech’s data align with their conclusions.
Last week, it was reported a tiger at the Bronx Zoo was confirmed to have COVID-19.
In its surveillance program, Antech is testing cat and dog samples that veterinarians submit for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, a routine practice when an animal presents with symptoms that suggest a common infection or illness. The PCR analysis Antech performs as part of its surveillance program is specifically for veterinary use; it does not consume resources for human COVID-19 testing. Antech will continue to monitor samples and report any discovery of positive cases to local, federal and veterinary authorities.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Department of Agriculture recommend that people diagnosed with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known.
“As understanding about this new coronavirus deepens, our professional community and pet owners are fortunate to be guided by several highly respected human and animal health organizations,” said Jennifer Ogeer, VP Medical Affairs and Commercial Marketing at Antech. “These organizations are continually analyzing, validating and interpreting emerging data to inform and update their recommendations, which should guide our actions and increase pet owner confidence. Their diligence allows us to seek continued solace in the joyful distraction and comfort our pets can give us during this time.”