Pet cat tests positive for COVID-19 virus in Hong Kong

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A pet cat of a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Hong Kong has tested positive for the virus, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Tuesday.

The domestic short-haired cat was sent for quarantine at the animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on Monday after its owner was confirmed with COVID-19.

The HKSAR government's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) collected samples from the cat for tests, and its oral cavity, nasal and rectal samples were tested positive with COVID-19 virus.

The cat has not shown any signs of disease, a spokesman for the AFCD said on Tuesday, adding that the department will continue to closely monitor the cat and conduct repeated testing.

This is the third animal to test positive in Hong Kong, following two earlier cases in which two dogs tested weak positive or positive during repeated tests for the virus.

The AFCD will continue to work together with the HKSAR government's Department of Health in handling relevant cases, said the spokesman.

To ensure public and animal health, the AFCD strongly advises that mammalian pet animals including dogs and cats from households with persons confirmed as infected with COVID-19 should be put under quarantine in AFCD facilities, he added.

The spokesman emphasized there is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19. Pet owners should always maintain good hygiene practices and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.

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