COVID-19 virus detected in pet dog

February 28, 2020

The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department today said a pet dog tested a weak positive for the COVID-19 virus.


The department said that it received a referral from the Department of Health on February 26 that the dog, belonging to a patient infected with COVID-19, will be handed over to it.


It picked up the dog from a residential flat in Tai Hang that day and sent it to the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.


Nasal and oral cavity samples from the dog tested weak positive for COVID-19. The dog does not have any related symptoms.


The dog is currently the only one under quarantine at this animal keeping facility, the department said, adding that its staff will step up cleansing and disinfection of the facility.


At present, the department does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 or can be a source of infection to people.


It will closely monitor the dog and collect further samples to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or if this is a result of environmental contamination of its mouth and nose.


Repeated tests will be conducted and the dog will only be returned when the test result is negative.


The department strongly advises that the mammalian pets of patients confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 should be quarantined.


These pets will be delivered to designated animal keeping facilities for quarantine and veterinary surveillance for 14 days. Samples will be collected for testing of the COVID-19 virus as appropriate.


Pet owners are reminded to maintain good hygiene and wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol sanitiser after contact with pets.


They should also wear masks when going out. If there are any changes in their pet’s health condition, advice from veterinarians should be sought as soon as possible.

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