Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Hong Kong reports pet dog with low-level infection

Feb 28. 2020
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By The Nation

A pet dog in Hong Kong has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, though the infection is mild, the territory’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department announced on Friday (February 28).

It was alerted by the Department of Health on Wednesday about the dog, whose owner is infected. 

Staff collected the dog from a residential flat at Tai Hang the same day and took it to an animal-control facility at a port by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. 

Though the dog was showing no suspicious symptoms, oral, nasal and rectal samples were tested and the first two produced a “weak positive”. 

It remains the only animal being kept in quarantine at the port. 

There has to date been no evidence anywhere of Covid-19 infection in pets nor any indication they could transmit the virus to humans. 

More tests will be run on the dog to confirm infection or otherwise indicate environmental contamination of its mouth and nose. The dog will only be returned to its home if it uninfected.

A department spokesman advised the infected owners of mammalian pets to have their animals placed in quarantine in its control for 14 days. 

Pet owners in general are urged to maintain good hygiene, washing their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol-based sanitiser after touching their pets. 

They should wear protective masks while outdoors and quickly consult a veterinarian if they observe any change in their pet’s health.

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