A new Lower Mainland study will examine feline COVID-19 transmission using data gathered from up to 40 cats living with newly infected adults. (Pixabay)

A new Lower Mainland study will examine feline COVID-19 transmission using data gathered from up to 40 cats living with newly infected adults. (Pixabay)

CDC conducting mobile kitty COVID tests outside of Lower Mainland homes

Researchers are probing whether humans can transmit the coronavirus to household pets

B.C. Centre for Disease Control wants to hear from cat owners who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

A new study will examine COVID-19 transmission in felines using data gathered from up to 40 cats living with newly infected adults in the Lower Mainland.

Tests will be conducted outside of homes at mobile stations set up and run by the CDC. Oral and rectal swab samples will be retrieved, as well as blood.

RELATED: Vancouver zoo taking precautions after tiger in New York tests COVID-positive

Results will “help fill important information gaps” in research about the risks of cat companions acquiring and spreading the respiratory disease, the CDC said.

So far, experimental tests have concluded cats, ferrets, hamsters and rabbits to be among the pets susceptible to infection and disease.

So far, B.C. has seen a few cats contract COVID-19 after close contact with an infected person, the CDC said.

If a cat does test positive for COVID-19 during the study, sampling will continue weekly until negative test results are gathered.

The pet will need to be put in a sanitized carrier at the owner’s front door on testing days.

Three cats from each household are eligible to take part.

READ MORE: Ontario dog believed to be first in Canada to test positive for COVID-19



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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