The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong confirmed that repeated tests suggested the dog had a “low-level” of the virus and that it was likely to be the case of human-to-animal transmission.
The dog, a Pomeranian, had not shown any symptoms for the illness but its owner was confirmed as being infected with Covid-19.
Now pet owners are becoming increasingly concerned they could catch the deadly disease from their animals – but is that scientifically possible?
This follows the news that a cat reportedly contracted coronavirus in Belgium but health authorities in the country said it was an “isolated case” and not “the rule”.
There are still no reports of animals in the UK with coronavirus.
On 13 March the World Health Organisation said “at present there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus”.
Several global health organisations have issued advisories saying there is no any evidence that pet animals can spread coronavirus or indeed be infected with it in the same way as humans.
“Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare,” the World Organisation for Animal Health has said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concurred that “there is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus”.