A veterinary test for SARS-CoV-2 the virus that can cause the disease C-19 coronavirus in humans is now available for pets.
Idexx Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX), a veterinary diagnostics and software company is making its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR test for pets available to veterinarians.
In a press release, the company explains its rationale: “IDEXX is launching the test in response to customer demand and growing evidence that in rare cases pets living with COVID-19 positive humans can be at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The test became available to veterinarians in North America during the week of 20 April, and Idexx plans to distribute it across most of the rest of the world in the coming weeks through its network of laboratories.
The company has already tested more than 5,000 samples from cats, dogs and horses with respiratory symptoms in 17 countries. None of the samples tested positive for C-19 coronavirus.
Veterinarians who wish to order the Idexx test must 1st consult with a public health authority, for example, a US state public health veterinarian.
In addition, tests should only be ordered for pets who:
- Live in a household with a human who has C-19 coronavirus or has tested positive for the virus
- Have already been tested by a veterinarian for more common infections, which have been ruled out
- Are showing clinical signs consistent with C-19 coronavirus, especially if the pet is a cat or ferret
Further, from the press release: “Understanding of COVID-19 and its effects on animal and human health is evolving rapidly. Leading health authorities and IDEXX veterinarians agree transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily person-to-person and advise against testing asymptomatic pets.”
At the time of this writing, the following associations and agencies do not recommend routine testing of animals for C-19 coronavirus:
|American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)||American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD)|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)||National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV)|
|U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)||National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials|
Have a healthy Memorial Day weekend, Keep the Faith!