A dog is being monitored after testing ‘weak positive’ for the new coronavirus in Hong Kong.
The Pomeranian may have belonged to a COVID-19 patient in the special administrative region, and received more testing over the weekend to determine whether it was infected or if the pathogen was found on the dog’s body due to its proximity to the owner.
The small dog has been taken to a kennel facility by Lantau Island and will be returned back to its owner after the results come back negative, South China Morning Post reports.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the pet didn’t exhibit any symptoms of the disease, with no current evidence showing pets can be infected or spread the coronavirus. Despite this, the department said pets of confirmed patients would be taken to designated facilities for two weeks to perform veterinary surveillance and testing.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have both stated there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected. On the CDC’s official website, the federal agency states:
“There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.”
As of Saturday, three pets – two dogs and one cat – have been quarantined in Hong Kong, according to Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, as cited by SCMP.
[Cover image South China Morning Post h/t Facebook]