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Scientists Test Hundreds of Animals for COVID-19 — From Dogs to Dolphins

They’re investigating everything from dogs to hamsters to dolphins.

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Scientists throughout the U.S. are testing a wide variety of pets and other animals for COVID-19, Kaiser Health News reports.

They’re “casting a wide net” to find out which animals may be susceptible to the virus. Dr. Sarah Hamer  at Texas A&M University has tested not only dogs and cats, but also hamsters and guinea pigs, according to the report. Her lab has found at least 19 cases of infection.

And in other labs, scientists have studied animals “ranging from farmed minks and zoo cats to unexpected critters like dolphins, armadillos and anteaters,” Kaiser reports.

Federal records show that over 2,000 animals have been tested for the coronavirus in the U.S.

Several dozen cases have been confirmed in animals, but it’s likely the tally barely scratched the surface. For example, an outbreak of COVID-19 on fur farms in Utah is reported to have killed thousands of minks.

Scientists hope the research will help them understand the virus better. Vets say pets do not appear to pose a risk of infecting their owners; there’s little evidence that animals spread the pathogen to humans.

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Read more at Kaiser Health News

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