Story by Reuters
A second dog in Hong Kong has contracted the coronavirus in a likely case of human-to-animal transmission, according to a report.
The 2-year-old German Shepherd — owned by an COVID-19-infected 30-year-old woman in the Pok Fu Lam area — was quarantined at a government facility, according to the South China Morning Post.
Another pooch from the same home, a 4-year-old mixed breed, was also placed on lockdown but tested negative, Hong Kong’s animal welfare authority said.
The sick puppy’s diagnosis came just three days after the first known dog to test positive for the coronavirus — a 17-year-old Pomeranian — died in Hong Kong after returning home from quarantine.
“It is very likely that the two positive cases [in Hong Kong] are examples of human-to-dog transmission,” Professor Malik Peiris, a public health virologist at the University of Hong Kong told the outlet.
But there’s no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to humans, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.
In the case of the German Shepherd, the pooch was given oral and nasal swabs and placed in a different kennel than its mixed-breed housemate. Neither dog showed any symptoms.
“The department will continue to closely monitor both dogs and conduct repeated tests on the animals,” the spokesman said.
Along with the canines, four cats are also under quarantine. Their health status wasn’t immediately known.