PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen, is testing pets owned by people who have contracted COVID-19 to see if the virus has been passed to the animal and what the effects are.

"We want to better understand the risk factors leading to any form of COVID-19 transmission between humans and animals," said Hayley Yaglom, a genomic epidemiologist and lead TGen investigator on the study.

Dog getting its blood drawn to test for COVID-19

Dog getting its blood drawn to test for COVID-19 in Arizona.

So far, two dogs and two cats in Arizona have tested positive for COVID-19. According to TGen, there's no evidence that the virus can be spread from pet to human. This latest study is being funded through a grant by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Trained veterinary staff is testing the dogs and cats with a nasal swab and a fecal swab to look for the virus's presence and a blood sample to look for coronavirus antibodies.

"We're also going to be doing a very brief questionnaire with owners to ask questions about their pets," Yaglom said. "To better understand what kind of interactions they're having with their animals."

To be eligible, the pet's owner has to have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks. So far, TGen has tested eight animals and is looking to test 100 total for the study. Pet owners are notified of the results within 3-4 weeks and may be asked to collect additional samples if their animal tests positive.

If you'd like to participate, you can email covidpetprojectaz@tgen.org

 

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