Pet dog infected with COVID-19, Hong Kong authorities confirm

March 4, 2020
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with the disease, in a likely case of human-to-animal transmission, authorities said on Wednesday.

The canine, which belongs to a 60-year-old woman patient, had repeatedly tested "weak positive" for the new coronavirus since Friday, when it was quarantined at an animal centre.

The city's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said repeated tests suggest the dog—a pomeranian—has "a low-level of infection".

The AFCD said experts from universities and the World Organisation for Animal Health have unanimously agreed that "it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission".

The pomeranian has not shown any novel coronavirus symptoms the AFCD said.

Since last Friday, all pets of people in Hong Kong infected with the coronavirus are to be quarantined for 14 days. Two are already in isolation.

The other dog in quarantine belongs to a second coronavirus patient that tested negative for the virus once and will be tested again before its release.

Authorities said it will continue to closely monitor the pomeranian and return it to its owner when it tests negative for the disease.

The financial hub has confirmed 102 cases of the new coronavirus in humans, with two deaths earlier this month.

© 2020 AFP

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