Pet Dog Tests Positive For Coronavirus In Hong Kong
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said the animal was tested 'weak positive' for the COVID-19 virus, adding that the dog is now under quarantine.
The statement explained that the AFCD staff then picked up the dog from a residential flat at Tai Hang in the evening on the same day and sent the dog to the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected from the animal to be tested for the COVID-19 virus, and while the dog does not have any 'relevant symptoms', the nasal oral cavity samples were tested weak positive.
The pet is currently the only dog under quarantine at the facility, where there are no other animals.
"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 AFCD release said.
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"The Department will conduct close monitoring of the above dog and collect further samples for testing to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or this is a result of environmental contamination of the dog's mouth and nose.
"Repeated tests will be conducted for the dog and it will only be returned when the test result is negative."
The department strongly advised that the pets of patients infected with the virus should be placed in quarantine for 14 days - the length of COVID-19's reported incubation period.
It also urged pet owners to maintain a 'good habit of hygiene' and to wash their hands thoroughly after soap or alcohol sanitiser after contacting pets.
"If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from veterinarians should be sought as soon as possible," the release added.
.@WHO just published guidance on how to prevent the spread of #COVID19 in a workplace & protect your customers, contractors &\ employees. We advise these measures to be taken now, even if #coronavirus hasn't arrived in communities where you operate. https://t.co/oDudAcNkuw
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 27, 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the globe, having now resulted in the death of a total of 2,858 people at the time of writing.
According to the online dashboard created by the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, there have now been 83,707 cases confirmed.
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