A quarantined pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong could be the first case of human-to-animal transmission of the Novel Coronavirus, said animal health experts on Wednesday, March 4.
The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that the pet was tested "weak-positive" for COVID-19 which indicates a low level of infection. Later, in a statement, AFCD stated that the department will continue to monitor the dog for further symptoms and repeat the test. The authorities added that if the dog tests negative then only it will be given back to the owner, who is a Coronavirus patient.
The owner and the pet
As per the reports, the dog, which is a Pomeranian belongs to a 60-year-old female Coronavirus patient. The dog has "a low-level of infection" and showed no symptom for the Novel Coronavirus, said AFDC.
But it should be mentioned that as per the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no solid evidence to prove that the pets can be infected with the coronavirus. But after this Hong Kong woman's dog tested positive for COVID-19, AFCD said experts from universities and the World Organisation for Animal Health have agreed that "it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission".
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
On Friday, February 28, Hong Kong's government took new measures to combat the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. It should be mentioned that as per the new measures pets infected with the Coronavirus must be quarantined for 14 days.
There are two dogs who are already in isolation. One of them in quarantine belongs to a second coronavirus patient. It tested negative for the virus once and will be tested again before its release. An AFCD spokesman stated that "Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets."
However, it should be mentioned that Hong Kong, which made headlines for months for the protest movements, is one place that's managed to limit the spread of Novel Coronavirus. Hong Kong which sits right up against China's Guangdong Province has seen fewer than 100 cases since the outbreak began in Wuhan.