USDA Developing New Ways to Track COVID in Wild and Domestic Animals
Scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are developing new tests to identify and track the COVID virus in wild and domestic animals. Funded by the American Rescue Plan, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is implementing $300 million to conduct monitoring and surveillance of susceptible animals for the COVID virus. Through the initiative, ARS, in partnership with APHIS, is conducting five research projects to improve its understanding of the virus and to help APHIS accomplish its goal of building an early warning system to potentially prevent or limit the next zoonotic disease outbreak or global pandemic.
Two of the projects call for developing easy-to-use field tests to quickly identify COVID infection in wildlife and domestic animals. Currently, all official testing of animals for COVID requires sending samples to certified laboratories and can take a week or more to provide answers.
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