GEE AND URSULA

UW, WSU study testing whether pets are vulnerable to COVID-19

May 10, 2020, 7:06 AM | Updated: May 11, 2020, 10:26 am
Testing pets for coronavirus...
(MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

While veterinarians have said in the past that there’s little evidence COVID-19 can be spread to or from pets, a coalition of Washington researchers are hoping to gain more insight.

Washington cherry harvest in coronavirus crosshairs

“We share households with pets and we often have more contact with some of these pets than we have with people in our household,” UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness Director Dr. Peter Rabinowitz told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “As we look at social distancing, we need to understand what the need is for any distancing between us and animals in the household.”

While pointing out the risk to pets is still “quite low,” the larger goal is to better understand how or if the virus is transmitting to and from household animals.

There hasn’t been much in the way of substantive data on transmission among pets, Dr. Rabinowitz said, which makes the study being conducted by the coalition of UW and Washington State University researchers that much more important.

“There’s been very few really systematic studies of this, so we feel that there needs to be at least some good evidence to base our recommendations on,” he noted.

The study is looking for anyone who’s been infected with the coronavirus within the last two weeks. Those who qualify can go to the study’s website and enroll. Researchers will then go into homes to test pets free of charge. Animals eligible for testing include dogs, cats, ferrets, and hamsters.

How to help Puget Sound’s surrendered pets during coronavirus crisis

Blood tests to determine whether anyone in the household previously had the virus will also be conducted.

If evidence indicates that pets are at risk of catching the virus, the hope is to be able to warn pet owners accordingly.

“It means we should just take reasonable precautions to, if we are infected with COVID ourselves, try to avoid infecting other people in the house, and also try to not have close contact with the animals as part of doing everything we can to slow down the transmission,” Dr. Rabinowitz detailed. “Just really including animals in the whole social distancing idea.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

amazon hiring...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Ursula: Amazon targeting ‘younger and less expensive’ coders

Amidst mass layoffs, Amazon might also be changing their hiring policy for entry-level programmers to restrict positions to recent grads.
1 day ago
right on red...
Bill Kaczaraba

Gee & Ursula: Right turns on red may become a thing of the past

Under new legislation proposed in the state Senate, right turns on red at many intersections may become a thing of the past in the state.
5 days ago
african-american studies...
Bill Kaczaraba

Gee & Ursula: FL downsizing Black studies ‘doesn’t erase history’

The College Board has released a stripped-down version of its new Advanced Placement course on Black studies.
6 days ago
dedo...
Frank Sumrall

KIRO’s Darren Dedo recovering after battle with bilateral pneumonia

Through ECMO and amazing medical care, more than a month later, Dedo was able to join The Gee and Ursula Show remotely from his hospital bed.
7 days ago
Seattle Police...
Bill Kaczaraba

Gee & Ursula: Naming officer in pedestrian death was appropriate

Gee & Ursula believe that releasing the name of the police officer involved in the deadly pedestrian crash in Seattle was appropriate.
7 days ago
scenarios...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Scenarios: I’m not ok with my stepdaughter spending my husband’s money

On the Gee and Ursula Show, hosts Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin give advice to help other people in a segment called … Scenarios.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UW, WSU study testing whether pets are vulnerable to COVID-19