COVID-19 confirmed in dog case

March 26, 2020

The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) today said that the latest positive serology test results of a pet dog, which previously tested weak positive for COVID-19, proved that the Pomeranian was infected with the virus before it died.


Virus isolation was performed on previous samples taken from the Pomeranian with a negative result, indicating that no live virus was retrieved. This is in line with the amount of virus genetic material in the samples.


Further serological tests have been conducted at the World Health Organization reference laboratory at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on the blood sample taken on March 3 and the final test result is positive.


This indicates that the Pomeranian had developed an immune response to the viral infection with antibodies found in the blood.


Veterinary experts and scientists from the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences of City University, as well as the School of Public Health of (HKU) concluded that the result further supported that the Pomeranian had been infected with the COVID-19 virus.


The AFCD also stressed that cases of infection in dogs appear to be infrequent. As at yesterday, the department conducted tests on 17 dogs and eight cats from households with confirmed COVID-19 cases or people in close contact with the patients, and only two dogs tested positive for the virus.


These findings indicate that dogs and cats are not easily infected with this virus and there is no evidence that they play a role in its spread.


As COVID-19 is a newly emerged disease and the situation is still evolving, the department said a precautionary approach is being taken in quarantining animals from households with confirmed COVID-19 human cases.

Back to top