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Are our pets at risk for COVID-19?

Recent reports of animals testing positive for the novel coronavirus—including a cat in Belgium, a dog in Hong Kong and, famously, a tiger in the Bronx Zoo—have pet owners worrying about their furry companions. Many also wonder whether pets can pass COVID-19 on to people.

“There is no evidence to date of household pets infecting humans with COVID-19. There’s certainly more evidence of people infecting animals than there is of animals infecting people,” said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, professor in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and the Department of Global Health. “But we need to understand the risk better and help people with good preventive practices to avoid transmission between people and animals.”

Rabinowitz and his colleagues at the UW Center for One Health Research (COHR) and the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) at Washington State University are now recruiting participants for a new pilot study of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their pets.

Read the entire story at the Department of Environmental & Health Occupational Sciences. Peter Rabinowitz is a Professor of Global Health and Director of the UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security.