A woman’s Pomeranian pooch was placed in quarantine on Wednesday after testing “weak positive” for the coronavirus in Hong Kong according to a government press release. If confirmed, the dog would mark the first case of an infected pet which has now exceeded with more than 82,000 cases worldwide.
According to the Dimsun Daily, scientists have no evidence that a pet can be infected with COVID-19 virus or could be a source of infection to people.
The press release from the Government of the Hong Kong Administrative Region stated:
“The AFCD received a referral from the Department of Health on February 26 that a dog of a patient infected with COVID-19 disease virus will be handed over to the AFCD. Staff of the AFCD picked up the dog from a residential flat at Tai Hang in the evening on the same day and sent the dog to the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing of COVID-19 virus. The nasal and oral cavity samples were tested weak positive to COVID-19 virus. The dog does not have any relevant symptoms.
The above dog is the only dog under quarantine at animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge at the moment. There are no other animals using the said facility. Staff of the department will step up cleansing and disinfection of the animal keeping facility.”
More samples will be collected by the CFCD to confirm if the dog really or infected or if the positive test was a result of “environmental contamination” of the dog’s mouth and nose. In addition, the department has “strongly advised” that the pets of infected patients should be placed in quarantine for two weeks – the reported incubation period.
As with all communicable diseases, people are urged to maintain good habits of hygiene and thoroughly wash their hands with soap or alcohol after touching their pets.
“If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from veterinarians should be sough as soon as possible.”
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