A dog in Hong Kong has contracted coronavirus, marking the first known human-to-pet transmission of COVID-19. The potential pandemic has doctors and researchers feverishly working to better understand how this disease is spreading and the dangers it presents. It was not clear until recently, however, that dogs were susceptible to coronavirus.
News broke last week that a dog in Hong Kong tested "weak positive" for COVID-19. Though the dog's owner had coronavirus, the pet presented with no clear symptoms. According to a New York Post report, the dog was "placed under quarantine at an animal facility after three tests confirmed it came down with a 'low-level infection' of the COVID-19 virus."
A spokesman for Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that "to ensure public and animal health, the department strongly advise[s] mammalian pets of patients confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 virus to be put under quarantine by the AFCD."
The AFCD said they would put pets under veterinary surveillance for 14 days and collect samples "for testing of COVID-19 virus as appropriate." The spokesman also reminded pet owners to "maintain a good habit of hygiene, and wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol sanitizer after contacting pets."
Hong Kong authorities have advised residents to not kiss their dogs in the event that they have contracted COVID-19.
The concern over canine coronavirus has dog owners rushing to purchase coronavirus masks to protect their pups from the perilous pathogen.The Daily Mail reports that a local pet mask retailer in China has seen sales increase from 150 a month to 50 a day.
Watch a video of dogs wearing masks below via the New York Post: