Coronavirus patient’s pet dog placed in quarantine after testing positive for virus

(WHDH) — A pet dog in Hong Kong has been placed in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, marking the first known case of COVID-19 in a canine, health officials announced Friday.

The dog, which belonged to an infected patient, tested “weak positive” for the virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in news release.

AFCD staffers picked up the dog from a residential flat at Tai Hang and sent the pet to an animal keeping facility to undergo testing. Oral, nasal and rectal samples are said to have come back positive.

Officials say the dog is the only animal under quarantine at the facility.

At this time, researchers do not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with the virus or serve as a source of infection to people, officials said.

Additional tests will be conducted to determine if the dog has really been infected with the virus or if it’s the result of environmental contamination of the animal’s mouth and nose.

The pet will remain in quarantine and under veterinary surveillance for at least 14 days.

The AFCD spokesman also reminded pet owners to maintain a good habit of hygiene, and wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol sanitizer after contacting pets.

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