HONG KONG: A coronavirus patient’s pet dog in Hong Kong was found to be infected with the disease, in a likely case of transmission from humans to animals, authorities said on Wednesday.
Since Friday, when quarantined at an animal hospital, the canine, who belongs to a 60-year-old woman nurse, has repeatedly tested “highly positive” for the new coronavirus.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation (AFCD) in the city said repeated tests show that the dog — a Pomeranian — has “a low infection risk.”
The AFCD said academic experts and the World Organization for Animal Health concluded unanimously that “it is likely to be a case of transmission from humans to animals.”
The Pomeranian did not exhibit any new symptoms of coronavirus, it said.
New measures put in place by Hong Kong’s government last Friday mean that all coronavirus-infected pets must be quarantined for 14 days. Two inmates are in solitary confinement.
The other quarantine dog belongs to a second patient with coronavirus who once tested negative for the virus, and will be screened again before entry.
Authorities have said they will continue to monitor the Pomeranian closely and return it to its owner when it checks the disease negative.
“Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets,” an AFCD spokesman said.
The industrial hub confirmed 104 new coronavirus cases in humans, with 2 deaths earlier this month.