2nd infected dog case explained

March 20, 2020

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


The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department today said more tests need to be carried out on a pet dog to determine if the German Shepherd is infected with COVID-19.


The department’s Assistant Director (Inspection & Quarantine) Dr Thomas Sit explained at a press briefing that the tests they conducted so far are positive, but additional tests, including collecting a blood sample, will also be done.


“Regarding the infection of the dog, we speculate that the dog likely got infected. So far we only took two days of samples from the German Shepherd and the samples were all positive.


“So we are going to take another sample today and we will also take a blood sample to test the serum. We will collaborate with the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong to see whether the serum contains antibodies that can neutralise the virus. That may help to show whether the dog is infected.”


Dr Sit also responded to a question on the probability of whether dogs could transmit the virus to other dogs.


“In the case of these two dogs - one is a mixed breed and the other is a German Shepherd, they lived together very closely, but the other dog had a negative (test) result.


“So far we don’t have any evidence that the virus can be easily spread from dog to dog. From this case, it is definitely not. So we will wait for more data, so that we can further confirm changes of the virus in this case.”

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