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CORONAVIRUS

DON’T SMOOCH THE POOCH: Dog in Hong Kong ‘Infected with Coronavirus’

DOGS may catch the deadly Coronavirus according to the Hong Kong government. 

One person who caught the virus in Hong Kong passed it on to his pet dog and tests revealed that the mut had “low levels” of the virus that’s been named COVID-19. 

The dog tested “weak positive” for the virus Hong Kong agricultural and fisheries department said in a statement.

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The AFCD received a referral from the Department of Health on February 26 that a dog of a patient infected with COVID-19 disease virus will be handed over to the AFCD. 

Staff of the AFCD picked up the dog from a residential flat at Tai Hang in the evening on the same day and sent the dog to the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing of COVID-19 virus. 

The nasal and oral cavity samples were tested weak positive to COVID-19 virus. The dog does not have any relevant symptoms. 

The above dog is the only dog under quarantine at animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge at the moment. There are no other animals using the said facility. Staff of the department will step up cleansing and disinfection of the animal keeping facility.

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At present, 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. 

The Department will conduct close monitoring of the above dog and collect further samples for testing to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or this is a result of environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose. Repeated tests will be conducted for the dog and it will only be returned when the test result is negative. 

As of 27 February, a total of 7,690 people have been tested in the UK, of which 7,675 were confirmed negative and 15 positive.

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Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate.

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Returning travellers

Call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if you’ve travelled to the UK from:

  • Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms
  • Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy or special care zones in South Korea since 19 February, even if you do not have symptoms
  • other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild)
  • other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild)

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. In Northern Ireland call 0300 200 7885.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Lockdown areas in northern Italy:

  • in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano
  • in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo

Special care zones in South Korea:

  • Daegu
  • Cheongdo

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