By Aaron Kesel
According to the Hong Kong government, a dog belonging to a coronavirus patient has tested “weak positive” for COVID-19. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump is attempting to control the flow of information by putting Mike Pence in charge of what officials are allowed to say about the coronavirus.
According to officials, the preliminary evidence could be a result of contact with the owner’s bodily fluids on the dog’s mouth and nose, and does not necessarily mean the dog itself has contracted the disease.
A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department told local media it had received a referral from the Health Department on Wednesday to take care of a dog belonging to one of the city’s 93 infected patients.
Department staff picked the dog up that evening from a residential flat at Tai Hang and took it to an animal holding facility at the Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, where oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing the virus.
The statement stressed that the dog had not shown any symptoms and there was no evidence so far that pets could either contract coronavirus or pass it on to people, the South China Morning Post reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the case stating that swabs of its nasal and oral cavities tested “weak positive," CNBC reported.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association earlier this month said it was highly unlikely owners could contract coronavirus from their dog or cat, or that their companion animal could transmit the virus to people or other animals.
“Currently there is no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can be infected with this new coronavirus,” the WSAVA’s official guidance says.
“Additionally, there is currently no evidence that pets or other domestic animals might be a source of infection to people with the new coronavirus. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.”
However, China has been burning dead animal carcasses with 40 new mobile incinerators deployed to Wuhan that its also no doubt using to burn bodies of humans as well that died from the coronavirus. Chinese officials are also said to be beating dogs and cats to death according to a report by Dailymail which showed a distressing and disturbing video.
Further, more than 100 wild animals were found dead in a Chinese megacity, and tests show that they were poisoned by the disinfectant that's being used to combat the coronavirus according to Business Insider.
Chinese pet owners have been flocking to buy face masks for their dogs amid the coronavirus outbreak to prevent them from catching the disease, Dailymail reported. China's top expert Prof. Li Lanjuan for infectious diseases has previously warned that pets might also be infected by the novel coronavirus, which has so far spread to 60 countries and regions and sickened more than 80,000.
Prof. Li told state broadcaster CCTV:
In this epidemic season, pet owners should strengthen their management of their pets.
If your dogs run around outside and come to contact with the outbreak or people infected with the virus, then your pets should also be put in quarantine.
Because the epidemic spreads between mammals, therefore we should take precaution against other mammals.
This has resulted in Chinese citizens killing their pets, throwing them from buildings and abandoning them, according to reports. Although, this latest case in Hong Kong with further tests will prove or disprove whether pets can catch the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests pet owners should restrict contact with pets and other animals if the owner is infected with COVID-19. That includes “petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food."
Meanwhile, in the U.S. President Trump has tapped a man in charge for pandemic response who has no medical experience, Mike Pence. In 2018, then-national security advisor John Bolton, presumably under orders of Trump, disbanded the global health response team in the U.S. after the lead official Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer quit.
According to a report by Dailymail, no health official can speak about the coronavirus without prior approval from Pence ... absolute insanity. However, Pence is only playing information police; HHS Secretary Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical exec, leads a coronavirus task force.
Trump claims the U.S. has the coronavirus under control as the stock market crashes, but there are at least three cases of unknown origin in U.S. which could have spread vastly wider. The U.S. government announced a $2.5 billion plan to help combat the illness which has so far infected at least 70 people in the United States at the time of this report. There are also reports that officials mishandled the response by failing to use proper procedures and equipment according to a whistleblower, something that Activist Post noted in a prior report.
Chinese scientists have speculated that the virus may have come from a laboratory, but thus far the origin has not been defined, Activist Post reported. However, the story that the virus came from a Wuhan wet food market is debunked because researchers identified that patient zero and others infected had no connection to the markets. At the time of this report, officially there are currently 86,986 cases, 2,979 deaths and 42,576 recovered according to the Johns Hopkins map.
Image credit: Anthony Freda Art
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