Hong Kong officials confirmed Friday that a dog has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement that the dog tested “weak positive” for the virus, meaning there were low traces of the virus found. More than 80,000 people have been infected with the virus so far and at least 2,800 have died worldwide.
Health officials are not sure if the dog is infected itself or if the positive test is the result of "environmental contamination," the department said. Officials said they don't "have any evidence” that animals can be infected with the coronavirus “or can be a source of infection to people.”
“We’re working with [scientists in Hong Kong] to understand the results, to understand what further testing they are doing and to understand how they are going to care for these animals,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a technical lead in the World Health Organization's emergencies program, according to CNBC.
The dog belongs to a 60-year-old woman who developed symptoms of the coronavirus earlier this month and tested positive for the virus, the outlet reported.
The Hong Kong government strongly advised that pets of a person who is diagnosed with coronavirus be kept at a “designated animal keeping facility” for quarantine and seen by veterinarians for 14 days.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the dog is not showing any symptoms of the virus. Swabs from its nasal and oral cavities were what tested "weak positive" for coronavirus, officials said.
The dog is currently under quarantine at a port in Hong Kong, according to the department. There are no other animals using the facility.
The dog will be returned to its owner once it tests negative for the virus.