South Korea Conducts Covid-19 Tests on Pets!

Published February 11th, 2021 - 08:51 GMT
A veterinarian took samples from her nose and rectum and transferred them to Seoul's Animal Sanitation Laboratory, the city office said

South Korea is conducting COVID tests on pets with coronavirus symptoms as a Cocker Spaniel was spotted receiving a swab on Wednesday.

The eight-year-old female pooch, owned by a coronavirus patient in Seoul, underwent the procedure after showing fever symptoms, including a runny nose.

She will now be isolated at home for 14 days with only its owner for company, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said. 

It is thought that neither cats nor dogs can pass Covid-19 on to humans, but some have been shown to be able to catch it themselves. 

The resident in Seoul reported that the dog showed symptoms of fever and a runny nose after health authorities sent out an epidemiological survey to pet owners.

A veterinarian took samples from her nose and rectum and transferred them to Seoul's Animal Sanitation Laboratory, the city office said. 

The samples have been tested at the laboratory and will be released later on Wednesday.

South Korea reported its first confirmed case of an infected pet in late January after a kitten tested positive for COVID-19.

Health authorities said they assumed the cat was infected by its owners, who were confirmed coronavirus cases, and decided they could not let sleeping dogs and other pets lie.

'People are worried after the first COVID-19 case in an animal was confirmed in the country. Therefore, we are starting the test to secure the animals' safety,' said Song In-jun, an official in Seoul's Animal Protection Division.

The city government said on Monday there was no evidence the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to humans.

But the officials advised citizens to keep their dogs at least two metres away from other animals when walking them and to follow anti-virus measures.

Last week, South Korean officials ordered cats and dogs showing coronavirus symptoms to be quarantined for 14 days under new rules.

The announcement came after a cat living in a missionary centre in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province tested positive for coronavirus on January 24.

Cats with Covid have also been reported in Britain, Brazil and Japan, while a dog died in Hong Kong last year after testing positive for the virus. 

South Korea is a pet-loving nation with around a third of its 50 million people keeping animals in their homes.

The country has been praised for its response to the coronavirus, having seen just 81,930 cases of the virus and 1,486 related deaths - far lower figures than a number of other countries with similar population densities.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

You may also like


Sign up to our newsletter for exclusive updates and enhanced content