Pet dog in Hong Kong confirmed with Covid-19 in first human-to-animal transmission case

It previously tested a weak positive.

Mandy How | March 05, 2020, 12:10 PM

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A Pomeranian in Hong Kong has tested positive for Covid-19, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

The case, which has been identified as a "low-level infection", was confirmed by Hong Kong authorities on Mar. 4.

It is also likely to be the first reported case of human-to-animal transmission, according to experts from the University of Hong Kong, City University, and the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The dog is now under quarantine with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), where further tests will be run on it.

It will not be released until it has been cleared of the virus, SCMP added.

Belongs to a confirmed case

It was previously reported that the Pomeranian is an elderly dog that belongs to a confirmed case.

The pet was also thought to be at home most of the time.

It had already tested “weak positive” for the virus twice, once on Feb. 27 and a second time on Feb. 28.

Oral and nasal samples were used to conduct the tests.

It showed no symptoms.

No evidence pets are capable of spreading the virus

A spokesperson from the AFCD said that there was "still no evidence" that pets could be a source of infection, or that they could fall sick, according to SCMP.

Owners should not be abandoning their pets, the spokesperson stressed.

SPCA Hong Kong has also addressed the case, revealing that the Pomeranian is "currently very healthy and doing well at the quarantine centre".

They reminded members of the public that there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit the virus to humans.

"Members of the public are advised to differentiate that ‘being infected’ does not equal being infectious and capable of spreading the COVID-19 virus. We wish to remind the public that there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit the disease to humans."

The organisation advised suspects cases to limit contact with their pets.

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Top photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash