23 dogs in Washington test positive for COVID-19 antibodies

Researchers from the University of Washington have confirmed 23 cases of COVID-19 antibodies detected in dogs in Washington.

The cases were part of a study being done on COVID-19 and pets in collaboration with the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Washington State University to gather information about whether household animals could contract the virus. The study analyzed companion animals living in 币圈app都有哪些homes with people who had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The researchers noted that while the cases are the first in Washington, they are not the first in the country.

"These detections are not a surprise given the other cases reported across the country," Washington State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Joseph said in a news release Wednesday. "While there is no significant public health risk, we would advise pet owners who are COVID-positive to take measures to protect their pets from the virus."

During the course of the pandemic, animal infections have made headlines. The first case of an animal contracting COVID-19 from human exposure was a tiger at the New York’s Bronx Zoo. That tiger, Azul, has since made a full recovery and now lives at Woodland Park Zoo.

While the news may sound alarming to pet owners, the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Agriculture emphasize that there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.

"These results indicate that COVID-infected humans are able to transmit the virus to animals living in the same household," said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, Director of the UW Center for One Health Research. "While we don’t have evidence that this poses a risk to other humans, we are recommending that COVID-infected persons take steps to reduce the risk of infecting their pets."

The Washington State Department of Health advises residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 to avoid direct contact with their pet to prevent transmitting the virus. If possible, having someone else take care of the pet is recommended. However, if a person ill with the novel coronavirus must care for a pet, experts suggest they wear a mask and wash their hands anytime they are in contact with the animal.

If an animal appears sick, owners should contact their veterinarian.

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