Officials in Texas have confirmed that a dog has tested positive for the coronavirus. As ABC News reported, officials in Tarrant County confirmed that the dog tested positive for the virus after its owners were found to have contracted it. Officials said the 2-year-old dog was healthy and stated that there was no reason for concern after the dog’s positive test.
This case is not the first in which the deadly disease showing up in domestic animals. Though officials said animals do not appear to play a significant role in spreading the virus, they warned that people who are infected should take precautions with their pets, just as they would with other people.
“Based on current knowledge, there is no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people,” said Texas state veterinarian, Dr. Andy Schwartz, in a statement. “It’s always important to restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would other people, if you are infected with COVID-19 in order to protect them from infection.”
There have already been a number of confirmed instances of animals contracting the coronavirus. Back in April, as New York City became the world’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, officials at the Bronx Zoo confirmed that a tiger had tested positive for the virus. It was believed to be the first case of a tiger contracting the virus, though officials stressed that there was no major concern and that the animal was expected to recover.
As the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory noted at the time, the tiger was tested after several big cats at the zoo began to show signs of respiratory illness. Though the zoo at that point had been closed for several weeks as the city was in a strict lockdown, the animals had been exposed to a zoo employee who was reportedly shedding the virus while being asymptomatic.
Other animals could face greater danger if they are infected. As The Inquisitr reported, wildlife officials across Africa moved to restrict access to gorillas, which are reportedly very susceptible to respiratory diseases and would be in danger of dying if they contracted the novel coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have been first transmitted to humans from animals in China late last year, though the exact origin of the outbreak has not been determined. Many have connected it to infected bat meat sold at a market in Wuhan, China, though some epidemiologists have offered other theories and believe that another animal may have been responsible for the first human transmission.