Dog shows low-level infection with COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-04 22:15:00|Editor: huaxia

HONG KONG, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A pet dog had repeatedly tested weak positive for the COVID-19 in China's Hong Kong, indicating low-level infection with the virus, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said three tests on the dog's nasal and oral cavity samples were weak positive.

Experts from two Hong Kong universities and the World Organization for Animal Health unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission, the spokesman said.

The dog has not shown any signs of disease related to the COVID-19. It is currently under quarantine at the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

The AFCD advised that mammalian pet animals including dogs and cats from households with persons confirmed as infected with COVID-19, or close contacts of COVID-19 infected persons, should be put under quarantine in AFCD facilities to ensure public and animal health.

There is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19, the spokesman said, stressing that pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.