In what could be a rare case of a fatality caused in an animal by COVID-19, a dog in North Carolina has tested positive for the dreaded virus, after having passed away earlier this month. This dog was brought to North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital located in Raleigh on August 3. He was suffering from breathing difficulties and passed away later that day.
Samples taken from the dog for Coronavirus tests have now returned positive, leading to the possibility that this may be a landmark case of an animal succumbing to the pandemic that has gripped the entire world. The owner of the dog informed the authorities that a member of the family had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier. This also raises the possibility of man-to-animal transmission.
Other Such Cases
The doctors are trying to find out whether the death of the dog was caused by the virus or other medical conditions. This isn't the first case of an animal contracting the virus. As per the Department of Agriculture in the US Government, 13 dogs have contracted the virus in the country, till August 3. But dogs aren't alone. 11 cats too caught the disease.
Also affected was the Bronx Zoo in New York where four tigers and three lions were also found carrying this virus. Luckily, the deadly virus has not shown the tendency to spread from animals to humans.
It was in June that the first case of a dog with COVID-19 in USA was discovered in New York. This dog, a German Shephard called buddy, died on July 11. He had been infected with the virus six weeks ago and was also suffering from lymphoma. Whether his death was, in any way, caused by Coronavirus is not clear.
What is known, as of now, is that most animals who have been found COVID-19 positive were in touch with humans carrying the disease. But dogs are still better off than humans in their immunity to the deadly microorganism. A dog who shared the same home as one who had Coronavirus was not only found COVID-19 negative but also harbored antibodies that diffused the virus.
The Department of Agriculture has reported that while animals are at risk of catching the Coronavirus from humans, the microorganism is unlikely to travel in the opposite direction.