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Dogs Caught COVID-19 from Owners, Study Suggests

Viral genetic sequencing was performed on dogs in Hong Kong.

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Two dogs that tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong most likely picked up the virus from their owners, researchers have found.

The dogs —  a German shepherd and a Pomeranian — were the first reported to have the coronavirus. Genetic sequencing showed that the virus they had was identical to that found in their owners, according to a study published in Nature.

Neither dog was visibly sick, according to a news report about the research.

The findings support scientists’ suspicion that the dogs got the virus from their owners, said virologist Malik Peiris, who led the study. Still, it can’t rule out the possibility that it was the dogs who infected the humans.

It’s also not clear whether dogs can spread the virus to one another, although the study did not show evidence of that.

Other animals known to have been infected with the coronavirus include domestic cats and a tiger.

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