The first dog in the United States presumed to have been infected with Covid-19 may not have been infected at all. That is the news coming from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the testing completed last week on a pug named Winston, could not confirm any signs of infection or antibodies in the dog’s body which would have indicated he had been exposed or had a prior infection.
In April, a researcher stated Winston had tested positive for the virus, which would have made him the first dog in the United States infected by the virus. To get more reliable results, however antibody tests were performed on the dog.
Winston and the two other pets in the home were tested after members of the family were positive for the coronavirus. The family agreed to participate in the study to better understand the virus. It has also been noted another dog and cat in the same household tested negative.
“Serology testing showed none of the 3 animals in this home had generated an antibody response detectable by the test used, which likely means they were never systemically infected,” the Duke researcher wrote in her report. “It seems more likely that the virus was picked up by the animals via environmental contamination from the surfaces in the home.”
The USDA also performed additional tests which were all completed last week. Animals are able to transmit viruses to humans, although there has been no evidence pets are able to transmit Covid-19 to humans. According to AbcNews, there is no reason to remove pets from a home.
As is sage advice, wash your hands after handling your pets and follow the CDC recommendations to stay safe from Covid-19. The virus is still out there – be careful.