Reports of dog with coronavirus ‘incredibly irresponsible,’ says professor

The dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong reportedly tested “weak positive” for the virus recently.

Though there’s no evidence pets can contract or transmit the virus, the Hong Kong government gave details of this “low level” test in a statement released on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in the country said they received a referral from the Department of Health on Feb. 26 regarding a patient that tested positive for COVID-19.

Staff of the AFCD, the statement reads, picked up the patient’s dog from the owner’s apartment in Tai Hang, an area in mid-north Hong Kong.

“Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing of the COVID-19 virus,” it says. “The nasal and oral cavity samples were tested weak positive to COVID-19 virus.”

The statement goes on to say that the dog did not exhibit any symptoms of the disease, adding that the dog is the only one under quarantine at an animal-keeping facility in Hong Kong.

Despite a lack of evidence, the organization still recommends that “mammalian pets of patients confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 virus be put under quarantine by the AFCD.”

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