Award Banner
Award Banner

Quarantined dog tests negative for coronavirus in Hong Kong

Quarantined dog tests negative for coronavirus in Hong Kong
A man wears a protective face mask sitting next to his dogs, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China, March 6, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

HONG KONG - A dog held in quarantine in Hong Kong on suspicion of having the coronavirus has tested negative, the government said late on Thursday (March 12), easing fears over the possibility of human-to-animal transmission.

The dog, which belongs to a patient who tested positive for Covid-19, will still need to be retested before being released.

The negative result does not mean the dog has not been infected with the virus, Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said.

"It is also not uncommon in the earlier stages of infections to have negative result, as it often takes 14 days or more for measurable levels of antibodies to be detected," it said.

The dog had repeatedly tested "weak positive" since late February with low levels of the virus found in its nasal and oral cavity samples, prompting further tests to confirm if it had been infected or if the samples were due to environmental contamination.

The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence so far that companion pets can be infected with the coronavirus.

Animal health experts examining the Hong Kong case have said pet owners should not be overly concerned and should not abandon their pets.

Hong Kong has around 131 confirmed cases of coronavirus with three fatalities so far.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.