Interim guidance for SARS-CoV-2 testing in North American wildlife
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Interim guidance for SARS-CoV-2 testing in North American wildlife

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  • Corporate Authors:
  • Description:
    Key Concepts:

    • This guidance is intended for health and wildlife professionals who work with free-living wildlife during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • We are still learning about this virus, but we know it is primarily spreading from person to person, and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.

    • In rare circumstances, testing wildlife for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may be considered. This guidance is intended to facilitate decision-making for SARS-CoV-2 testing in these circumstances.

    • Testing wildlife for SARS-CoV-2 may be appropriate for morbidity and mortality event-based surveillance, ensuring the health of threatened or endangered species, or for research purposes.

    • For animals to be returned or released to the wild, a risk assessment per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature-World Organisation for Animal Health guidelinesexternal icon (IUCN-OIE) should be conducted to assess the risks and benefits of such a release. This risk assessment should include considerations for testing these animals for SARS-CoV-2.

    Who this guidance is for: Veterinarians, biologists, and wildlife health specialists who work with free-living wildlife and who may be investigating wildlife morbidity or mortality events or managing the health of free-living wildlife populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Purpose: To facilitate decision-making regarding the testing of wildlife for SARS-CoV-2.

  • Content Notes:
    Key Concepts -- Testing may be considered when -- Biological sample collection and testing -- Collaboration and reporting -- More information.
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