RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina health officials said the state has its first confirmed case of a dog testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said a dog that suddenly began suffering from respiratory distress on Aug. 3 was taken to the N.C. State Veterinary Hospital.
The dog later died, NCDHHS said.
The dog’s owners informed hospital staff that a member of their family tested positive for COVID-19 but later tested negative.
The N.C. State Veterinary Hospital tested samples from the dog for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Samples were also sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Those tests came back positive for SARS-CoV-2.
“A necropsy was performed to try to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of death and the cause of death, and the complete investigation is ongoing,” NCDHHS said in a release.
The NC State Veterinary Hospital staff notified the family and NCDHHS of the positive test result.
“Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low,” said Dr. Carl Williams, state public health veterinarian.
If pet owners are concerned about the health of their dog, they should contact their veterinarian and discuss the dog’s symptoms before bringing them to the veterinarian office.
Additional information regarding SARS-CoV-2 and animals is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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