Two cats test positive for coronavirus in Texas
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Two cats in Brazos County, Texas, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Texas A&M University researchers said both cats were asymptomatic and lived with people who have also tested positive, according to a statement from the university.

The results suggest transmission is possible for pets in “high-risk” environments, researchers said.

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“We’re one of a few veterinary research groups across the country that are conducting similar investigations to provide an enhanced understanding about SARS-CoV-2 infections in pets — asking questions such as, are pets being exposed? Becoming infected? Can they spread the virus to humans or other animals? Do they get sick?” researcher Sarah Hamer said in a statement.

“By actively screening pets who may not be symptomatic and who are living with people who have tested positive for COVID-19, Dr. Hamer’s project provides important new information about the transmission pathways of the virus,” Interim Dean John August said in a statement.

“This project reflects the dedication and leadership of scientists from three of our colleges at Texas A&M University, working together with a One Health approach to improve animal and human health and to address this serious pandemic.”

Hamer said researchers are still testing additional household pets. She added that while the owners did not report any symptoms in their pets during the owners’ illnesses, one of the cats sneezed for several days after being tested.

The results, she added, indicated that people should factor in the possibility of pets becoming infected when taking precautions and self-isolating if necessary.

The statement comes the same week Louisiana officials confirmed a dog has tested positive for the virus. The Bronx Zoo reported in May that several tigers and lions had contracted the virus after contact with an asymptomatic person who had the disease.

The first dog in the U.S. to test positive for the virus died in July.