Hong Kong says pets of coronavirus patients need to be quarantined

The dog, whose owner is currently sick, didn’t exhibit any symptoms of the illness, but nasal and oral cavity samples taken from the animal showed “a weak positive” for the coronavirus, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement Friday.

The dog belongs to a 60-year-old woman who first developed symptoms on Feb. 12 and subsequently tested positive, according to a government statement. The patient’s dog was taken in for testing on Feb. 26.

Further tests will be conducted to determine whether the canine has been infected by the virus that causes the disease known as Covid-19, or if the positive result was due to contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose, the department said. “At present, there is no evidence that pet animals such as dogs or cats can be infected with Covid-19” or pass the virus to people, it said.