Hong Kong officials stress that below findings indicate that dogs and cats are not infected easily with this virus, and there is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of the virus.
A Pug named Winston in Chapel Hill, North Carolina was thought to be the first known case of a dog testing positive for COVID-19 in the United States. However, subsequent testing has concluded that the dog never contracted the virus. “While there was a weak detection from the original oral sample, it did not meet the case definition for a positive, and all other testing was negative,” said Lyndsay Cole, a spokesperson for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Three family members who lived in the home, two of whom are front-line health care workers, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Two pet dogs in Hong Kong tested positive for COVID-19, and both dogs lived in homes with COVID-19 positive owners. Local health officials characterize the cases of the two dogs in Hong Kong as “likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission,” and neither dog showed any signs of illness from the virus.
Hong Kong health officials have continued to test dogs and cats owned by people infected with the coronavirus. Officials there have stated that cases of infection in dogs appear to be infrequent. As of March 25, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department “conducted tests on 17 dogs and eight cats from households with confirmed COVID-19 cases or persons in close contact with confirmed patients, and only two dogs had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.”