Human-to-animal transmission: HK Pet dog infected with coronavirus

By: Agence France Presse - Inquirer.net | March 06,2020 - 08:57 PM

HONG KONG — The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus disease of COVID-19, 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 COVID-19 since Friday, when it was quarantined at an animal center.

Human-to-animal

The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said repeated tests suggested the dog—a pomeranian—had “a low-level of infection.”

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

The pomeranian has not shown any new coronavirus symptoms, it said.

New measures put in place by Hong Kong’s government last Friday mean all pets infected with the coronavirus must be quarantined for 14 days. Two dogs are already in isolation.

Advice to owners

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

Authorities said they would continue to closely monitor the pomeranian and return it to its owner when it tested negative for the disease.

“Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets,” an AFCD spokesperson said.

The financial hub has confirmed 104 cases of the new coronavirus in humans, with two deaths earlier this month.

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TAGS: coronavirus, Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, dogs, health, human transmission, pets, threat

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