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USDA Announces Updated Dashboard with Data on SARS-COV-2 Variants Detected in Animals

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will launch an updated web-based dashboard containing information on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in animals. This data is important as we and researchers around the world work to better understand and combat SARS-CoV-2 and protect animal and human health.

APHIS scientists, in collaboration with their partners, have studied SARS-CoV-2 in animals through surveillance, testing and research. APHIS has confirmed cases in several animal species including cats, dogs, animals in zoos and aquariums, mink, white-tailed deer, and mule deer. The full list of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in U.S. animals can be found on the APHIS One Health website, which now includes the expanded variant data.

Experts at APHIS are still learning about SARS-CoV-2 in animals, but there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans. Based on the information available to date, the risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people is low.

APHIS is uniquely positioned for this work because of its scientific expertise in animal health and animal diseases, including preparing for and responding to foreign animal disease outbreaks. Teams across APHIS are prioritizing their charge under the provision of the American Rescue Plan Act to conduct monitoring and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in susceptible animals using a One Health approach.  APHIS is currently conducting multiple projects under the American Rescue Plan Act aimed at understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 virus behaves in different animals, how it moves between animals and people and what we and our public health partners can do to interrupt the chain of transmission.  As the organization expands and enhances its capacities to address the immediate threat of SARS-CoV-2, specialists at APHIS are building critical capacity to address future emerging threats and prevent or limit any future pandemics, to protect the health and welfare of the Nation’s animals as it has for more than 50 years.

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APHIS’ strategic framework outlines how the agency is focusing its efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to SARS-CoV-2 in animals, as well as other emerging diseases that could pose a threat to humans and animals. 




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