On March 4, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Fisheries and Fisheries Department said:
"A dog has a weak positive response to repeated tests of 2019-nCoV, and the results show that the dog has been infected with the virus to a low degree."
This may be reminiscent of the rumors that "cats and dogs can infect the virus" in the early stage of the epidemic, which caused some pets to be abandoned or even harmed.
So what does this news mean? We interpret for everyone:
Only one dog has been detected for the virus
First, the virus was detected in the dog's nose and nose, not as simple as the virus on the surface or hair.
The Hong Kong Fisheries and Conservation Department sampled the dog's nose, nose, and other parts on February 26, February 27, February 28, and March 2 and detected the new crown virus.
The department consulted experts from the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences of the City University of Hong Kong, and the World Organisation for Animal Health. They agreed:
Relevant results indicate that the dog has been infected with the virus to a low degree and is likely to be transmitted by humans.
But at the same time, we also need to be clear: this dog is just an example and lacks further research.
Two dogs are currently under quarantine. They are located in two separate rooms, and the other dog is negative for the new coronavirus test.
Priority: low-level infections
It should be noted that the AFCD announcement emphasized: "weak positive reactions" and "low-level infections", and the dog does not currently have symptoms associated with new coronary pneumonia.
This indicates that the virus load on this dog may be small. Viral load and infectious capacity are closely related.
Why are dogs infected?
Previously, many health care institutions have published a document: There is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs will be infected with the new crown virus.
This is not unreasonable. The virus's ability to infect different species is completely different, which is determined by their genetic material. New coronaviruses that infect humans belong to the genus Beta, while coronaviruses previously found to infect cats and dogs are all in the genus Alpha.
Therefore, if it is determined that dogs can be infected with neocoronaviruses, this suggests that neocoronaviruses may be mutated compared to other beta coronaviruses.
But now it is concluded that all dogs will be infected, it may be too early.
Academically, there is a Koch's rule that can be used to judge the dog infection.
If you want to demonstrate that this dog can really be infected with the new coronavirus, that is, to determine the animals that are susceptible to infectious diseases, the following three points should be met at the same time:
New crown virus cannot be isolated in healthy animals, but can be isolated from diseased animals;
The isolated virus can be cultured in vitro;
Infecting healthy individuals with purely cultured viruses can cause healthy animals to suffer from the same disease and isolate the same virus in their bodies.
The current study does not meet the requirements of Koch's Law.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government also said that the dog did not show any symptoms at present.
Will it cause dog to people or dog to dog?
On the issue of dog-to-human transmission, some virology experts tell us:
Although virus nucleic acids can be found in the dog's mouth and nasal cavity, it is not certain whether they are contagious.
Because dogs are not sick, this suggests that the virus cannot replicate in the dog's body to cause disease.
Moreover, from the situation in Wuhan, the spread of New Coronavirus is so large, but no clinical or death phenomenon has been found in pet dogs. Therefore, dog-to-dog and dog-to-human transmission are unlikely and need evidence to support it.
What should people do?
Simply say two things: wash your hands frequently and watch the dog.
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong stressed that there is no evidence that pets can transmit the new crown virus(2019-nCoV).
In addition to maintaining good hygiene practices (including washing hands before and after contact with animals or their food and items, and avoid kissing animals), pet owners need not worry too much.
In addition, dogs like to smell everywhere. In the near future, you should reduce the risk of virus infection by going out. For the safety of pets and yourself, you should also prevent them from contacting strangers.
Finally, I call on everyone:
Under no circumstances should pets be abandoned.