A pet dog has tested positive for Covid, becoming the first official case in the UK of this nature. It is alleged the dog contracted coronavirus from its owners, who had previously tested positive and fallen ill.
This case was confirmed from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey, following tests on the infected pooch last week. It is believed the infected dog was undergoing treatment for an unrelated illness and is now recovering. Experts say that although it is rare for dogs to catch Covid-19, they are most likely to show mild symptoms and recover in a few days.
This rare case has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health in line with international agreements.
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While there is still no scientific evidence to suggest that pets can pass on the virus to their pet parents, this may be a concern for many.
“There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans,” states Dr Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinary officer for the World Organisation for Animal Health. “We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change. "
In the meantime, coronavirus precautions should be maintained at all times, such as regular hand washing and wearing masks when necessary.
"In line with general public health guidance, you should wash your hands regularly,” reiterates Dr Katherine Russell, consultant medical epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency, “including before and after contact with animals."
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Cynthia Lawrence is freelance lifestyle journalist. Starting off her career in national magazines, she moved to digital and e-commerce publications. When she's not reviewing exciting products, she is obsessed with home interiors and her neighbour's cat!