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Science File | IN BRIEF

Some Pets Can Carry the SARS Virus

November 01, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Cats and ferrets can carry the SARS virus, raising the possibility that the pets could play a role in any new outbreaks of the deadly disease, Dutch researchers reported in this week's issue of Nature. Scientists infected both species in laboratory experiments and showed that animals could pass the virus to others. The cats remained healthy, but some of the ferrets got sick.

There is no evidence to date that the animals can pass the virus to people, but they could be used for testing drugs and vaccines, researchers said.

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