Why One Hong Kong Dog Tested Positive for Novel Coronavirus

Why one Hong Kong dog tested positive for novel coronavirus On February 28, it was reported that a dog in Hong Kong had tested “weakly positive” for the COVID-19 virus Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove explained that “weakly positive” means only low levels of the novel coronavirus were found Dr. Van Kerkhove is the technical lead of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program Despite the “weak positive,” Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the World Health Organization state that there is no evidence pets can be infected with COVID-19 The dog that was tested belonged to a 60-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus She showed symptoms on February 12, but her dog never showed any symptoms Doctors had swabbed the dog’s nasal and oral cavities to conduct the test, and kept the dog under quarantine afterwards The dog is being kept in a Hong Kong port until its owner test negative for COVID-19 Because of this new discovery, the Hong Kong government is now determined to quarantine all domesticated pets of infected owners until these owners test negative for the virus Scientists know that coronaviruses can survive on objects and surfaces, but they don’t know for how long It is because of this that China’s central bank has been disinfecting and destroying cash that they believe could be infected The dog that was tested could have tested positive for COVID-19 without actually being infected Lifelong Animal Protection Charity founder Sheila McClelland told Hong Kong authorities in a letter that there is no evidence dogs can spread the coronavirus more than inanimate objects In fact, no cats or dogs have contracted the novel coronavirus Even during the 2003 SARS outbreak, doctors said catching SARS from a cat wasn’t likely SARS was detected in a few cats, but their ability to infect humans with the disease was never proven Though domesticated animals may not be able to catch the coronavirus, quarantining them will still allow scientists to observe how they react to the disease Chinese pet owners have been putting small face masks on their dogs in an effort to protect them from the coronavirus, but it may not be doing any good The best way to keep them safe is to practice good hygiene instead of contributing to their stress by forcing them to wear masks The World Health Organization says that owners should wash their hands and wipe their dogs’ paws after walks It’s rare for humans to catch zoonotic illnesses from pets, but people with weak immune systems are more vulnerable to certain diseases Rabies is one such zoonotic illness that can spread to humans through bites, but one is more likely to be infected by a wild animal Humans can also catch toxoplasmosis, cat scratch disease, hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, ringworm, salmonella, parrot fever, and Lyme Disease from animals In 2003, cats were taken away from their homes and killed while Hong Kong pets were abandoned at the peak of SARS The same thing might happen today because of COVID-19, but charity workers are working hard so that all pets are cared for even in this time of crisis

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