Hong Kong coronavirus patient's dog HAS been infected

Hong Kong coronavirus patient’s dog HAS been infected with the disease in likely case of human-to-animal transmission, authorities confirm

  • Pet dog of coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has also been infected with disease 
  • Canine has repeatedly tested as ‘weak positive’ for the virus since Friday
  • The city’s AFCD agency suggests the Pomeranian has a ‘low-level of infection’ 

The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with the disease, in a likely case of human-to-animal transmission.

The canine had repeatedly tested ‘weak positive’ for the new coronavirus since Friday, when it was quarantined at an animal centre.

The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said on Wednesday that repeated tests suggest the dog – a Pomeranian – has ‘a low-level of infection’.

Local media said the owner of the dog is a businesswoman named Yvonne Chow Hau Yee. AFP separately reported the dog’s owner is 60 years old. 

Hongkonger Yvonne Chow Hau Yee, pictured in an undated photo, is believed to be the owner of the dog that has contracted the virus 

The AFCD said experts from universities and the World Organisation for Animal Health have unanimously agreed that ‘it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission’.

The Pomeranian has not shown any novel coronavirus symptoms, the AFCD said.

The dog was placed in a hospital isolation ward last Wednesday and is the only dog at the quarantine facility, which is based in near Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, according to dimsumdaily. 

The dog will be kept at the centre for 14 days. Repeated tests will be done until the dog is cleared of the virus. 

‘It would be closely monitored and undergo further tests to confirm if it really has the virus or if ‘this is a result of environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose,’ the AFCD said.  

All pets of people in Hong Kong infected with the coronavirus will be quarantined for 14 days, starting Friday. Two dogs are already in isolation.

The other dog in quarantine belongs to a second coronavirus patient that tested negative for the virus once and will be tested again before its release.

Authorities said it will continue to closely monitor the Pomeranian and return it to its owner when it tests negative for the disease.

The financial hub has confirmed 102 cases of the new coronavirus in humans, with two deaths earlier this month.

 

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