Coronavirus infects North Carolina pug, possibly the first dog in the United States to contract a new virus


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A North Carolina pug who tested positive for the new coronavirus is probably the first dog in the United States to contract the disease.

Winston, a pug in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, tested positive for COVID-19 after being tested in a Duke University study, according to local press station WRAL-TV. The dog was probably exposed to the virus by three of its owners – a mother, a father and a son – all of whom tested positive for the new virus. Another child, a girl, has not tested positive.


“Pugs are a bit unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he’s gagging, and there was a day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs, you know they like to eat, then that seemed very unusual. ” , mom Heather McLean, one of Winston’s owners who has tested positive, told the news station.

In a statement to Fox News, a Duke Health spokesperson said the dog would be the first American dog to test positive for the disease, at least in the registers.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 has been detected in the companion dog of a family participating in the Duke Molecular and Epidemiological Research Study on Suspected Infections (MESSI). To our knowledge, this is the first case where the virus has been detected in a dog. Little additional information is known at this time as we work to learn more about the exhibit, “said the spokesperson.

Interestingly, the other dog and two cats in the family did not test positive.

Winston is apparently on the mend and has only been sick “for a few days,” according to the outlet.

The CDC maintains that there is currently

The CDC maintains that there is currently “no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. “

” [Winston] lick all our plates and sleep in my mother’s bed, and we are the ones who put us face to face. So it makes sense that he [the coronavirus]Said McLean’s son Ben.

The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week that the social distancing guidelines should also apply to pets until more is known. impact of the virus on animals.

Pet owners are advised not to let their furry friends interact with people or other animals outside the household, and pet owners should walk dogs on a leash at least six feet from other people and animals. . Cats should also be kept indoors when possible, said the federal agency.

For people infected with the virus, or suspected of having it, the agency has recommended that another member of the household take care of your pet. If this is not possible, he advised pet owners to wear a cloth face covering and wash their hands before and after interacting with the animal.

There have been other reports of dogs positive for the virus, such as a German Shepherd in Hong Kong. Two pet cats in New York have also recently tested positive.


However, the CDC maintains that there is currently “no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. “

David Aaro of Fox News contributed to this report.


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