A pet dog of a Hong Kong coronavirus patient has tested “weak positive” for the new coronavirus. The government announced the test results on Friday.
The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement the dog had not shown any symptoms. Also there was no evidence to suggest that pets could contract the coronavirus. And above all the dog couldn’t be a source of infection in people.
It said more tests would be conducted to confirm if the dog had really been infected with the virus or if this was a result of environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose. Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing.
No Evidence Dogs with Coronavirus
According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. “However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water. Above all after contact with pets,” it said on its website.
Hong Kong’s agriculture department said it was alerted to take care of the dog of an infected patient who lives in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Also that the pet was immediately sent to the dog-keeping facilities in Hong Kong.
It added repeated tests would be performed on the dog. And also it would only be returned to its owner once the tests had come back negative.
The dog is believed to belong to a Jockey Club member who has been infected with Covid-19. Her domestic helper is also infected Asia One reports. The pair were among the 93 cases that have been reported in Hong Kong so far.
A spokesman for the department said in the statement that infected patients were strongly advised to put their mammalian pets under its quarantine to ensure public and animal health.
He said under quarantine the pets would be delivered to designated animal-keeping facilities for veterinary surveillance for 14 days. Samples will be collected for testing of the Covid-19 virus as appropriate.
The spokesman reminded pet owners to maintain their pets’ hygiene and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol sanitizer after contact with their pets. Pet owners should wear masks while going out, he said.
He added if there were any changes in a pet’s condition, advice from veterinarians should be sought as soon as possible.