Hong Kong has, for the first time, detected a coronavirus infection in a dog. A small keeshond has contracted the virus from his sick owner, according to local media. According to the authorities in the city-state, this is the first case of human-to-animal contamination. The affected animal is kept in quarantine.
The dog tested “weakly positive” for the virus, indicating a low level of contamination, the Hong Kong Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Nature Conservation said. “The department will carefully follow the dog and perform the test again later. He will only return to his owner if the test result is negative,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is currently no evidence that pets can get infected with the coronavirus. According to animal health experts in Hong Kong, owners should not be too worried or abandon their animals.
Based on experiences with the SARS virus in 2003, experts believe that animals will not get sick despite being infected and that they cannot transmit the virus to humans.
Hong Kong has so far 103 confirmed coronavirus cases. Two people have since died. Fearing a further outbreak of the disease, shopping centers, and restaurants remain empty, and many people work from home. Schools will remain closed until at least mid-April.