A 2-year old German Shepherd has just tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong and is in quarantine for the time being.
“It is very likely that the two positive cases [in Hong Kong] are examples of human-to-dog transmission,” Professor Malik Peiris, a leading public health virologist at the University of Hong Kong who helped the government analyse the specimens, told SCMP – as the owner tested positive for Coronavirus.
Another dog living in the same house tested negative for the virus but is also on lockdown.
Till now, neither dogs are showing symptoms.
The first dog who contracted the virus died shortly after recovering and returning from quarantine, says its owner, a 60-year old woman who also recovered from Covid-19.
The cause of the dog’s death is unknown because the owner refused to have an autopsy done. However, an autopsy could have helped experts understand why it still died despite recovering from Covid-19.
According to a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department in Hong Kong, there is no proof yet that says pets can transmit the virus to humans.
“Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a health threat to dogs,” stated the American Kennel Club.
Both cases of dogs contracting coronavirus are most likely human-to-pet, not the other way around.
According to this report by CNN, if an infected person pets a dog without washing their hands, then, in theory, the virus could be transmitted to another person through the dog’s fur. But that’s the only way pets can ‘give you the virus’.
In brief, pets can’t actually give you coronavirus by being infected with the virus, but they can get it from you, and they probably won’t show any symptoms.
For now, there is no further information about how the virus affects pets.
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