Dog tests ‘weak positive’ for coronavirus, first known pet amid worldwide outbreak

Coronavirus

Dogs wearing masks are seen in a stroller in Shanghai on February 19, 2020. – The death toll from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 2,000 on February 19 after 136 more people died, with the number of new cases falling for a second straight day, according to the National Health Commission. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)

HONG KONG (NEXSTAR) — The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department in Hong Kong on Friday said a dog tested “weak positive” for coronavirus (COVID-19). According to Time.com and other sources, if confirmed, this is the first known case of a pet catching the virus amid a worldwide outbreak.

The department said, “The dog does not have any relevant symptoms.”

The dog belonged to a patient infected with COVID-19. It was tested on February 26, the department said. There will be further tests to confirm if the dog really has been infected, and the dog has been quarantined as a precaution.

“At present, the AFCD does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,” the department said.

The department recommended that pet owners maintain good hygiene including proper handwashing and any changes to a pet’s health should be reported to a veterinarian.

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