Dogs are man’s best friend and friends tend to share things.
Unfortunately, in this case, it may be an infectious disease that’s been shared.
On Tuesday, Aug. 11, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that it had received its first reported case of “a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive dog” in the state.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
According to a press release from the state announcing the find, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, someone showed up at the NC State Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh with a very sick dog that was having trouble breathing. The dog later died and the person who brought the dog in for treatment told veterinary staff that a member of the family had previously tested positive for COVID-19.
The press release states, “Samples collected from the dog were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test in the hospital diagnostic laboratory and were then sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for confirmatory testing. Those tests confirmed a positive result; indicating a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 case per the national case definition developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. A necropsy was performed to try to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of death and the cause of death, and the complete investigation is ongoing. The NC State Veterinary Hospital staff notified the family and state health officials from NCDHHS and the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) of the positive test result.”
There have been cases around the world of the virus infecting pets and other animals, however, according to health officials, animal to human transfer isn’t much of a threat to humans.
NC Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Carl Williams stated in light of the infected dog in Raleigh, “Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low,”
Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there’s no evidence at this point that pets play a significant role in spreading the virus.
Still, state health officials are now saying that, if pet owners are concerned about the health of their dogs, they should contact their veterinarian and discuss the symptoms before bringing the animals to the veterinarian office.
Additional information regarding SARS-CoV-2 and animals is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html.
My hamster has a fever.
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