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A dog in Hong Kong has ‘low-level’ coronavirus infection

Don’t worry: This doesn’t mean you should fear your pets

Alexandra Samuels

IRL

Published Mar 6, 2020 Updated Jan 27, 2021, 8:53 pm CST

A pet dog in Hong Kong has a “low-level” infection of thecoronavirus, in what authorities believe may be the first known human-to-animal transmission of the illness that has sickened thousands of people worldwide.

Multiple reports say the dog belongs to a 60-year-old woman who developed symptoms on Feb. 12 and later tested positive for COVID-19. The animal is the only canine in the world with a confirmed infection, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program.

A spokesman for the federalAgriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department说,dog-an老男人还没有显示任何迹象of disease related to COVID-19. The dog is still under quarantine, but not sick, the department reports.

Still, authorities say you shouldn’t be worried about you or other people’s pets.

“Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned, and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets,” the department said.

Gail Golab, chief veterinary officer with the American Veterinary Medical Association, toldtheWashington Postthat the dog’s lack of symptoms could mean it “has a low level of infection, but that replication of the virus in the dog has not been sufficient to cause the dog to become ill.”

Another expert toldtheNew York Timesthat even if there’s a low-level coronavirus infection in a dog, that doesn’t mean it can spread the virus.

Experts still recommend that pet owners take basic hygiene precautions: hand washing before and after being around animals, avoiding kissing them and restricting contact with them when you’re sick.

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H/TWashington Post

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*First Published: Mar 6, 2020, 5:46 pm CST