CHP gives advice to pet owners

February 28, 2020

(To watch the whole press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Centre for Health Protection today encouraged all pet owners who are confirmed COVID-19 patients to allow the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) to quarantine and test their pets.


The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan made the appeal today at a press briefing, after one infected patient’s pet dog tested as “weak positive” for the coronavirus.


Explaining the case, Dr Chuang said further tests on the dog would be conducted.


“According to AFCD colleagues, for confirmed human cases of novel coronavirus, if nobody can take care of their pets, their pets will be sent to AFCD for caring.


“AFCD colleagues have taken some samples for testing of the pets (concerned) and found out that one of the dogs tested as weak positive, so it is not sure whether the dog is really suffering from the infection or because of environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose.


“So further tests will be conducted for the dog to check and until the test results are negative, the dog will not be returned to the owner.”


She advised pet owners to maintain good hygiene habits, wash their hands thoroughly before and after contact with their pets, and seek veterinarians’ advice as soon as possible if there are any changes in their pets’ health condition.


“If the infected case has a pet, we will ask the pet owner to allow the pet to be taken care of by the AFCD, so that they can be quarantined and tested from now on. Because we know that they might test positive, although we are not sure whether it is due to environmental contamination or it’s really infected.


“But as a precaution, we strongly advise all pet owners who are confirmed cases to allow us to send their pets to AFCD for quarantine and testing.”

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