A Pomeranian dog has tested positive for the coronavirus after contracting the disease from its owner.
The owner of the dog, Yvonne Chow Hau Yee, who lives in Hong Kong with her beloved pet, has also tested positive for the virus.
She visited a vets in the Happy Valley area of Tai Hang where oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing yesterday.
The samples were tested and the results showed the dog tested weak positive to the virus.
Officials from Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department reported that the dog didn’t have any relevant symptoms but that it was being kept in quarantine.
In a statement the agency said: ‘The AFCD does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people.’
According to dimsumdaily, the Pomeranian is the only dog at the quarantine facility at Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
The dog will be kept at the centre for 14 days. Repeated tests will be done until the dog is cleared of the virus.
The spokesman said all pet owners should maintain a good habit of hygiene and wash their hands after having contact with their pets.
They added that pet owners should wear masks when going out and if their pets experience a change in health then they should go to the vets.
It is believed to be the first case of a pet having the virus and comes as cases worldwide continue to be identified.
Today the director of the World Health Organisation said countries must act aggressively to contain the virus.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the outbreaks in Iran and Italy in recent days showed the full extent as to what the ‘virus was capable of’.
The global health chief warned that it would be a ‘fatal mistake, quite literally’ for other nations to assume they will not be affected by the outbreak.
Pointing to a decline in new cases in China, Tedros said: ‘It’s what’s happening in the rest of the world that’s now our greatest concern’.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Tedros said the epidemic was at a ‘decisive point’.
‘If you act aggressively now, you can contain this virus, you can prevent people getting sick, you can save lives,’ he said.
‘There does not appear to be widespread community transmission,’ he added.
‘This virus has pandemic potential,’ the WHO director-general said. ‘This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.’
Tedros emphasised that all countries should ensure that their health systems were prepared for an outbreak.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Terri-Ann Williams