New from Idexx: COVID-19 pet test
The SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR Test should be given only under certain circumstances, according to the company.
Responding to customer demand, Idexx Laboratories Inc. has released a COVID-19 test for pets.
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test is available to North American veterinarians and will be shipped worldwide “in the coming weeks,” Idexx stated. The company pointed to “growing evidence that in rare cases pets living with COVID-19 positive humans can be at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association, in a statement on its website, reported that “As of April 19, the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has not received any National Veterinary Service Laboratories-confirmed reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, and we have no information that suggests that pets might be a source of infection for people with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”
[Update: Read “2 N.Y. Cats Test Positive for COVID-19” at bit.ly/2VSdY9Y.]
According to Idexx, the new test should be conducted only after “consultation with a public health authority” and if three criteria are met:
- The pet is living in a household with a human who has COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus.
- The pet has already been tested for more common infections that a veterinarian has ruled out.
- The pet — “especially cats and ferrets” — is showing clinical signs consistent with COVID-19.
“We have continued to monitor the rapidly evolving public health crisis worldwide, paying special attention to the effects on pets,” said Jay Mazelsky, president and CEO of Idexx Laboratories. “While there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats play a role in transmitting the disease to humans, it became clear offering the test was the right thing to do when we saw clinical evidence that pets — especially cats and ferrets — can in rare cases be at risk for infection. And we heard from our customers around the globe that veterinarians needed a testing option.”
More information about the test is available at https://bit.ly/2Vj6nlR.
The company added that since mid-February, “Idexx Reference Laboratories has tested over 5,000 specimens for the COVID-19 virus from cats, dogs and horses with respiratory symptoms.”
“To date, Idexx has found no positive results. This suggests dogs and cats living with infected people generally remain uninfected, except in rare and isolated cases.”
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