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The Daily Coronavirus Story: The First Canine Case

The Daily Coronavirus Story: The First Canine Case

Whether you’ve sworn off travel or are taking advantage of the great deals, we can all agree that the coronavirus has brought on strange times. So we’ve decided to feature the most eye-brow raising coronavirus story we hear each day. Want actual information on the coronavirus? Check out this consolidated FlyerTalk thread with everything you could ever want to know about the coronavirus–from flight cancellations to reports from the ground in Wuhan–in FlyerTalk’s consolidated Coronavirus/COVID-19 Thread. Or, check out the coronavirus tag for news stories from the front page. 

In the continually unfolding coronavirus saga, we have reached a new chapter: a dog has contracted the disease.

Hong Kong health authorities confirmed yesterday that a pet dog–who belongs to a Covid-19 patient–has contracted the coronavirus. Experts are calling it a “low-level infection” and likely the first reported case of human-to-animal transmission of the disease. The dog is now under quarantine with the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department.

So Dogs Can Get the Coronavirus Now?

That certainly seems to be the case.  Said Hong Kong health minister Sophia Chan Siu-chee during a press briefing on the coronavirus crisis, “[the dog]  is positive to tests and has been infected, so it is now quarantined in a center by the department. Further tests will be conducted and it will not be released until the tests return negative results,”

In its statement later, the department said experts from the University of Hong Kong, City University and the World Organisation for Animal Health had been consulted, and all “unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”

Should You Protect Your Pets?

While Hong Kong authorities certainly suggest that the answer is “yes,” the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that it is still waiting for more information from the Hong Kong government before it makes an official recommendation. A WHO spokeswoman added: “Based on past experience with coronaviruses and our current understanding of Covid-19, we do not think common household pets are spreading the disease or making people sick.”

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