A dog of a Hong Kong coronavirus patient have been tested ‘weak positive’ for the virus, although WHO said that the virus could not be transmitted to pets.
In a statement released on February 28, the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the dog had tested “weak positive” for the new coronavirus.
Officials will conduct further tests to confirm whether the dog is truly infected with the virus, or whether it is a result of contamination of its mouth and nose. It will only be returned to the owner after the test results are negative.
Little is known about the virus that is spreading worldwide after it emerged in central China late last year. It is thought to have transferred to humans from bats and has been shown to spread in many ways, but Hong Kong’s agriculture authorities said they have no evidence that pets can be infected or a source of infection for humans. .
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that companion animals or pets like dogs or cats can be infected with the new corona virus.
“However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets,” the WHO said on its website.
Workers wait near the entrance of Cheung Hong Estate, a public housing area evacuatedon February 11. Photo: AP.
According to Bloomberg, if confirmed, the dog will be the first pet case infected with corona virus in the context of a global epidemic that infected more than 82,000 people and claimed more than 2,800 lives.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong agriculture bureau said it had been alerted to take care of the dog of an infected patient living in Tai Hang on February 26 and the pet was immediately sent to the facility. Dog raising at Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge.
The dog is thought to belong to a member of the Equestrian Club in Hong Kong, a person infected with Covid-19. Her domestic worker is also infected. These two people are among the 93 cases reported in Hong Kong so far.
A spokesman for the agency said in the statement that infected patients are advised to bring their mammalian pets into isolation areas to ensure public and animal health.
He said the animals will be transferred to designated animal storage facilities for veterinary supervision in 14 days. Samples will be collected for testing on the Covid-19 virus when appropriate.
The spokesperson reminded pet owners to keep their pets hygienic and wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol disinfectant after contact with pets. Pet owners should wear a mask when outdoors.