A dog named Buddy has become the first known case of being infected with COVID-19 in the U.S., federal health officials declared Thursday.
The Department of Agriculture in a statement said: “One of the dog’s owners tested positive for COVID-19, and another showed symptoms consistent with the virus, prior to the dog. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.” A second dog in the same household as the German shepherd revealed no signs of illness though did own antibodies to the germ. The news accompanies a negative result of testing on a North Carolina pug originally suspected of contagion with the novel virus last week.
The USDA noted: “Based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low.” According to the USDA, testing the canines in a veterinary lab did not restrict a person’s access to tests. There is presently no proof that animals play a substantial role in spreading the bug, the agency furthered. Dogs have been rumored to be infected with COVID-19 several times in the epidemic, interestingly two in Hong Kong.
Research has shown that ferrets and cats are readily infected by the disease, while dogs are less vulnerable. ‘Buddy’ is likely to recover from the novel coronavirus, however, health officials implore pet owners to be careful about contaminating their pets. The German shepherd will join a tiger, two cats, and a lion on the USDA’s list of animals in the United States testing positive with COVID-19.
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