North Carolina pug becomes first U.S. dog diagnosed with coronavirus

A pet dog who is believed to be the first dog in the U.S. to have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans, according to Duke Health, is seen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S. in this undated photo obtained from social media on April 29, 2020. Mandatory credit Heather Seabury McLean/via REUTERS

(Reuters) – A pug living in a North Carolina home with three people who have tested positive for coronavirus became the first U.S. dog diagnosed with the COVID-19 respiratory illness, the American Humane Society said on Tuesday.

The pooch apparently contracted the virus from the mother, father or son in the household who all have confirmed cases, a Humane Society spokeswoman said in a written statement.

Another daughter has tested negative for coronavirus, along with a second dog and a cat, the spokeswoman said.

Early last month, Hong Kong health authorities said a coronavirus patient’s pet dog that tested positive for the virus was “likely” the first case of human-to-animal transmission. Since then there have been several cases reported in cats.

Last week two cats living separately in New York state became the first pets in the United States to test positive for coronavirus, leading health officials to caution that there was no evidence pets can spread the virus to humans.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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