Dog tests positive for coronavirus after catching disease from infected owner

A Pomeranian has been diagnosed with having coronavirus after catching it from its owner in Hong Kong.

The dog is now being kept in quarantine for 14 days after rectal, oral and nasal samples came back confirming it had the disease. Owner Yvonne Chow Hau Yee took her dog to a vet in the Happy Valley area of the city.

The results showed that the dog tested weak positive to the virus and it had not shown any symptoms. Officials at the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department ordered for the dog to be kept at Hong Kong’s only quarantine facility where its condition will be monitored and it will continue to be tested.

The AFCD said in a statement that it ‘does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with Covid-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people’. Pet owners were being reminded to get into the habit of washing their hands after touching their pets.

It is believed to be the first case of a pet catching the virus.

Mainland China reported 327 new cases and 44 deaths in the 24 hours to Friday morning, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

The update brings China’s total number of cases to 78,824 and deaths to 2,788, while more than 3,600 infections have been reported outside China.

The global count of those sickened by the virus hovered around 82,000.

As growing parts of Europe and the Middle East saw infections and a first case was found in South America, air routes were halted and border control toughened.

Nigeria’s health authorities have reported the first confirmed case of the strain of coronavirus known as Covid-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Commissioner for Health for Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, has said that an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on February 25 from Milan on a business trip fell ill the next day.

Commissioner Akin Abayomi said the man was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing. The patient was clinically stable with no serious symptoms, and was being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

Commissioner Abayomi added that officials were working to identify all of the man’s contacts since he arrived in Nigeria.

Nigerian health officials have been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly, Mr Abayomi said in a statement.

‘I wish to assure all Lagosians and Nigerians that we have been strengthening our preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China. We will use all the resources made available by the state and the federal government to respond to this case,’ he said.

He urged all residents of Lagos, a teeming city of 21 million, to take measures such as keeping their distance from people who are coughing and washing their hands regularly.

Cases of the virus were already confirmed in Egypt and Algeria in north Africa.

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