COVID-19 dog case explained

March 4, 2020

A pet dog repeatedly tested weak positive for the COVID-19 virus, indicating a low-level of infection with the virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department said today.


The department first collected test samples from the dog on February 26. It detected low levels of COVID-19 virus from its nasal and oral cavity samples on February 27.


The dog also tested weak positive for the virus when the department repeated the test on February 28 and March 2.


Experts from Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health, City University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences and the World Organisation for Animal Health have been consulted, and unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission, the department noted.


The dog has not shown any signs of disease related to COVID-19. It is currently under quarantine at the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The department will closely monitor the dog and repeat the test later.


To ensure public and animal health, the department strongly advises that mammalian pets from households with COVID-19 infected people, or close contacts of infected individuals, should be put under quarantine in the department’s facilities.


The department emphasised that there is currently no evidence that pets can be a source of infection of COVID-19 and under no circumstances should people abandon their pets.

Back to top