USDA announces first case of dog testing positive for coronavirus in US

USDA announces first case of dog testing positive for coronavirus in US
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The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories announced Tuesday that it found the first confirmed case of a dog contracting the coronavirus in the U.S.

The USDA said in a statement that it first took samples from the dog, a German shepherd in New York, after it showed “signs of respiratory illness” and that it is expected to make a full recovery.

One of the dog’s owners tested positive for the coronavirus and another dog in the household tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, suggesting exposure, the agency said.

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“We are still learning about SARS-CoV-2 in animals, but there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus,” the USDA said. “Based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low. There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.”

The coronavirus has been found in a small number of animals across the world, mostly among those who had close contact with a person who was sick with the virus. The USDA emphasized that it is still learning about the impact the illness has on animals. The agency said that routine testing of animals is not recommended. 

Other animals who have tested positive for the coronavirus include two cats, a lion and a tiger. All the animals lived in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.