Officials in Washington state say they have confirmed a test showing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a group of dogs in the state.
In all, 23 samples tested positive for antibodies in research conducted by the University of Washington. The state Department of Agriculture doesn't have information about the dogs, including whether any were farm dogs as opposed to household pets, spokesman Hector Castro told Farm Progress.
“These detections are not a surprise given the other cases reported across the country,” Washington State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Joseph said. “While there is no significant public health risk, we would advise pet owners who are COVID-positive to take measures to protect their pets from the virus.”
There have been numerous reports nationally of companion animals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the WSDA advises. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA have both stated that there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.
Washington's Department of Health advises that people who are isolating with COVID-19 stay away from domestic animals and let others care for them.