MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas colleges and universities have been a significant help to the state throughout the coronavirus pandemic; including donating personal protective equipment and opening their labs for testing. Now, Kansas State University is advancing research being done on the virus.

K-State doctors are researching the effects and spread the coronavirus has from people to animals. Researchers at the Bio Security Research Institute at K-State have found that certain animals, like pigs and mice, are not susceptible to the coronavirus. Whereas, cats can get the virus but will not get sick from it. This is giving researchers the opportunity to see if the cats can be re-infected after they’ve recovered from the virus.

Now, researchers have begun testing various drugs to treat the coronavirus and vaccines to prevent the virus in hamsters.

“In this model, we are testing our own vaccines, which are produced at Kansas State,” explained Dr. Juergen Richt, Pathobiology College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University.

Additionally, they’ve found that mosquitoes cannot give the virus to humans. More research is being done into the effect the weather has on the spread of the virus. According to doctors, the warm summer weather helps slow, but not stop, the spread.

Governor Laura Kelly visited the research institute on Thursday to learn more about the extensive coronavirus research being done.

“What incredible contributions are being made here, not only to Kansas and the safety and the health of both our animals and our humans, but also worldwide,” she said.

The Governor added, without the Kansas higher education system, the state would be much further behind in the coronavirus response.

“We could not have done it. I will say, the universities came out early on, K-State, KU, all of them, to partner with us and they continue to do that,” said Kelly.