Coronavirus: Can pets be infected?

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that at present there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. This is despite the fact that a dog in Hong Kong has tested “weakly positive”.

The WHO urge the public to wash their hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of WHO’s emergencies program, said that low levels of the virus were found after testing a dog in Hong Kong. Hong Kong scientists aren’t sure if the dog is actually infected or if it picked up the virus from a contaminated surface, she said.

The dog reportedly belongs to a 60-year-old woman who tested positive for coronavirus.

The highest number of coronavirus deaths were recorded in Hubei, China with 2,727, followed by Iran with 43 and Italy with 21 death cases.