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Tags: coronavirus | pets | testing

Hong Kong Health Officials Want Virus Victims' Pets Tested

Hong Kong Health Officials Want Virus Victims' Pets Tested
A young girl plays with a parrot in a pet shop in Wanchai district of Hong Kong. (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 28 February 2020 07:20 PM EST

Pets aren’t spared the risk of getting infected with the fast-spreading coronavirus, authorities say.

Hong Kong’s Department of Health is strongly recommending dogs, cats and other mammals belonging to a COVID-19 patient undergo a 14-day quarantine after a pet Pomeranian of one such patient registered a “weak positive” for the virus, the South China Morning Post reported Friday.

Previously, family members were allowed to care for pets of infected patients if they themselves didn’t live with the sick person, and weren’t themselves subject to quarantine.

“But from now on, we will ask the owners to send their pets to the [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department] for quarantine just to make sure they are not infected,” said Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection.

The Department of Health said it wasn’t mandatory.

The move came as the department revealed Friday that oral and nasal samples taken from the pet Pomeranian tested “weak positive” earlier in the day — the same result obtained  Thursday. 

Chuang said the health authorities would review the entire list of 94 patients to see if any had pets that would need to undergo testing. 

But officials said the Pomeranian hasn’t shown any symptoms nor was there was any evidence to suggest pets could either contract the coronavirus or be a source of infection.

“There is no need to panic. There is no evidence yet that the virus can infect dogs, cats or other domestic animals,” Dr. Michael Bradley from Stanley Veterinary Centre told the news outlet.

“It’s possible that the dog had the virus due to environmental contamination. A dog can be an object that carries the virus the same way as anything else, like a tissue.”

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GlobalTalk
Pets aren't spared the risk of getting infected with the fast-spreading coronavirus, authorities say. Hong Kong's Department of Health is strongly recommending dogs, cats and other mammals belonging to a COVID-19 patient undergo a 14-day quarantine after a pet Pomeranian of...
coronavirus, pets, testing
287
2020-20-28
Friday, 28 February 2020 07:20 PM
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