Dog tests positive for coronavirus, government says pets of the infected should be quarantined

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Dog with face mask in China

BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 07: A Chinese woman holds her dog that is wearing a protective mask as well as they stand in the street on February 7, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to more than 31000 in mainland China Friday, days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global public health emergency. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medical experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities have put travel restrictions on the city which is the epicentre of the virus and municipalities in other parts of the country affecting tens of millions of people. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 636 on Friday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and screening has been stepped up at airports around the world. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

HONG KONG — The dog of a person who contracted the novel coronavirus has also tested positive for the sickness, a Hong Kong official with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.

The animal was picked up from a residential flat on Feb. 26, the same day that the pet’s owner was diagnosed.

The discovery is significant because, up to this point, there has been no direct evidence that animals can contract COVID-19. The dog didn’t have any symptoms, but tests came back weak positive from samples taken around the nose and mouth.

The AFCD stated more tests will be done to confirm that the dog did contract the disease and that the test results were not just a result of the dog living in a home with the virus touch its nose and mouth to infected surfaces.

The spokesman said that the department strongly advises that pets of people infected with the coronavirus be quarantined. Hong Kong has set up “designated animal keeping facilities” to hold pets for 14 days while they test for COVID-19.

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