Genetic tests on pet dog to check mutation of virus
Thursday, March 05, 2020
Infectious disease experts at the University of Hong Kong are carrying out genetic tests on the coronavirus sample they extracted from a pet dog.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the 17-year-old pomeranian has tested "weak positive" for the coronavirus.
Dr Thomas Sit, an assistant director at the department, said what they want to know now is whether the virus mutated after the dog was infected.
He said this was the first known case of a dog testing positive for the virus in the world, but there is no need for pet owners to panic. He advised them to maintain good hygiene, and said this should be enough to stop human-to-animal transmission.
Two other pets have been quarantined in Hong Kong, a cat and a dog, but both have tested negative for the virus so far.