Can dogs get the coronavirus?
A dog in Hong Kong has returned a “weak positive” for the deadly coronavirus and will be quarantined for two weeks.
However, all the advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests there is no evidence this could be the case.
The pet pooch of a local resident, who themselves has COVID-19, was tested after their owner came down with the virus, despite not showing any symptoms.
The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the dog, understood to be Pomeranian, will be tested further to see if it actually has contracted the illness, or the samples were only the result of environmental contamination.
“At present, the AFCD does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected … or can be a source of infection to people,” the department said in a statement.
The World Health Organisation said there is currently no evidence that pets like dogs can be infected with coronavirus.
However, it does recommend people wash their hands with soap and water after contact with pets.
“This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans,” it said.
There have so far been 91 cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong, with two confirmed deaths.