The first canine in the world, found with the COVID-19 in Hong Kong has died on Monday, March 16. Even though the dog was the first suspected case of human to animal Novel Coronavirus transmission, authorities earlier revealed that it tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 and passed away after returning home from quarantine.
The Pomeranian died at the age of 17. It belonged to a now-recovered Covid-19 patient from Hong Kong and was under quarantine at a government facility since February 26. As per the reports, the dog died after it returned home on Saturday, March 14.
Hong Kong COVID-19 suspected pet died
As per the spokesperson from Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), the 60-year-old owner of the pet informed the authority about the demise of the Pomeranian on March 16. In addition, the spokesperson also mentioned that " The owner said she was not willing to [allow] an autopsy to examine the cause of death."
Reports revealed that the deceased Pomeranian had repeatedly been tested during the quarantine period and a total of five tests from its nasal, as well as oral samples all, showed "weak positive" results for the new Coronavirus.
COVID-19 test on deceased Pomeranian
Last two tests, which was conducted on March 12 and 13 showed negative results after which the department allowed the dog to leave the healthcare centre and return home. Earlier, the owner of the dog was confirmed to be infected and admitted in a hospital on February 25. She returned home on March 8 after recovering from the disease.
Serology tests, which look for antibodies in the blood, were conducted in the deceased pet from March 3 and it came negative on March 12 which indicated that no antibodies specific to the virus were found in its system. In a statement released by AFCD, it was mentioned that "It is known in some asymptomatic or mild cases of human infections with other types of coronavirus that antibodies may not always develop."
Earlier the department stated that the genetic sequence results indicated that the virus likely to spread from the infected persons and subsequently infected the dog while stressing that as of now there was no evidence that pet animals could be a source of infection or that they could become sick.
Coronavirus effect on pets
Recently CDC mentioned in its website that they have not received any reports of "pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19."
But to ensure the safety of the pets, CDC advised that if a pet owner is sick with COVID-19 (suspected or confirmed):