A few diagnostic labs in North America are now offering testing in animals for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Testing capacity is great to have and I’m glad some labs have geared up tests. BUT routine testing of pets, healthy or sick, isn’t something we’re recommending, for a few key reasons.

Testing as part

While the whole story hasn’t been sorted out, it seems pretty clear that one or more animal species at the Wuhan Seafood Market (which sold much more than just aquatic animals and their products) was the source of the novel coronavirus.  Just like SARS.

Once again, this has raised concerns about markets where diverse live

I saw a TV commercial yesterday talking about a skin product and how it “protects your microbiome.” Microbiome is a big buzzword now, but do what do we really know?

A lot, and almost nothing.

The microbiome is the vast population of microorganisms (mainly bacteria) that live in a site like the intestinal tract, respiratory

“One Health” is getting a lot of talk (but still not enough action) these days. It deals with the intersection of human health, animal health and the environment. Unfortunately, all of these components don’t get treated equally, and the environment often gets ignored. There are a variety of reasons for that, which I won’t get

People sometimes get frustrated when I won’t say “absolutely, positively that cannot happen.” It’s not that I don’t understand or am afraid to make a decision, it’s biology. I can say something is “exceedingly unlikely to happen,”not something I’d be concerned about” or
there’s no evidence that’s a concern

This is one of these “I’m not sure it’s really news” stories, but I guess is should be because it’s still a problem. We know there is a clear link between reptiles and Salmonella in people.  Reptiles are common carriers of this bacterium, and human infections from handling reptiles or having contact with their environment