File photo: The pooch, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, passed away on Monday after being returned home to its owner. Picture: Pixabay
File photo: The pooch, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, passed away on Monday after being returned home to its owner. Picture: Pixabay

Hong Kong dog dies after release from precautionary coronavirus quarantine

By Reuters Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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Hong Kong - A 17-year-old dog in Hong Kong, which had been cleared of the coronavirus after initial suspicions of infection were proven unfounded, has died two days after it was released from quarantine, authorities said on Wednesday.

Vets in the Asian financial hub say the dog's death could have been because of the stress and anxiety of being in quarantine and away from its family.

The dog, which belonged to a patient who had Covid-19, tested negative for the virus last week, the city's Hong Kong's Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said, easing fears over the possibility of human-to-animal transmission.

The pooch, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, passed away on Monday after being returned home to its owner following a government quarantine and a negative test for the virus, the South China Morning Post reported.

According to the New York Post, the dog belonged to a 60-year-old woman who recovered from the virus herself and refused to allow the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to conduct an autopsy on her pet.

The dog returned home to its owner on Saturday. The AFCD gave no further details.

It had tested "weak positive" since late February with low levels of the virus found in its nasal and oral cavity samples, prompting further tests to confirm whether it had been infected or just contaminated.

The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence that pets can be infected with the coronavirus.

Animal health experts examining the Hong Kong case have said pet owners should not be overly concerned and should not abandon their pets.

Hong Kong has 167 confirmed cases of the virus with four fatalities so far. 

Reuters

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