Blood tests of dog carrying COVID-19 come back negative

The local Pomeranian that experts believe to have contracted COVID-19 from its owner. Photo via Facebook.
The local Pomeranian that experts believe to have contracted COVID-19 from its owner. Photo via Facebook.

In a bit of a head-scratching twist, a Pomeranian in Hong Kong that experts believed to be the first case in the world of human-to-animal coronavirus transmission has tested negative for the illness in a recent blood test.

The dog had previously tested “weak positive” in several tests, and low levels of COVID-19 were found in its nasal and oral cavity samples. But a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement last night that a blood sample was taken from the dog on March 3 for a serological test, and that the result came back negative.

The statement goes on to say that the negative result doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is virus-free, as “measurable levels of antibodies often take 14 days or more to show up.”

They said another blood sample will be taken for further testing, and the dog will continue to be held in quarantine until it tests negative for the virus again.

The news comes after health officials confirmed that two more people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 132.

The two new cases include a a 31-year-old man from Kennedy Town who had traveled from Boston to Manila via Tokyo from Feb. 22 to March 2, and the 37-year-old husband of a previous patient and the father of a 17-month boy who also underwent testing for COVID-19 after he developed a runny nose.

Outlets began reporting this morning that the young child has also preliminarily tested positive.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: HEALTH

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