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Mar 06, 2020
12:30PM

Genetic sequencing tests on the pet dog of a confirmed Corona virus patient in Hong Kong

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In Hong Kong, genetic sequencing tests are being carried out on the pet dog of a confirmed Corona virus patient in Hong Kong, which could reveal if the virus has mutated or not, an official has said.

Assistant Director for Inspection & Quarantine of Hong Kong government's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Thomas Sit said that Corona virus is what is known as an RNA virus which eventually mutates. He reiterated that international experts agreed that the dog has a low level of infection, despite its blood tests not being ready yet.

Mr Sit added that it was too early to say whether animal-to-animal transmission was a possibility. He said, at this stage, they do not have enough data to have a 100-per cent answer as to whether it is infectious to other dogs or not. But, if the dog's owner is positive, it is better to take precautionary measures to prevent onward transmission. He also advised dog owners to wash their hands, wear gloves and try to stop their dogs from licking their surroundings to prevent the virus from spreading further.

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