ATLANTA - A dog in Georgia has become the second known confirmed case of the coronavirus in a canine in the United States, state health officials said.
The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed a 6-year-old mixed breed dog experienced a sudden neurological illness that rapidly progressed. Officials said the only recourse was to put down the dog.
State health officials said the dog’s owner recently tested positive for COVID-19, but showed no sign of the illness.
A test was given to the dog and a presumptive positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus was returned by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
Health officials said the progressive neurological illness was caused by an underlying condition in the dog.
A second household dog has since been tested, but there were no results as of Wednesday.
Experts said little is known about the infection in pets, but they are not thought to be able to spread the virus to humans. Experts do believe pets can become infected from infected humans, however.
Officials are advising anyone with pets who have tested positive for the coronavirus, even if symptoms are not present, to quarantine themselves away from their pets. Owners should avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
Those who cannot have their pet taken care of by loved-one, should exercise social distancing precautions, wear a mask, and frequently wash hands before and after interacting.
The Georgia Department of Public Health in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture are investigating these cases.
For more tips on COVID-19 and pets visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html.
Best prevention measures:
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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