A dog has tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia, marking the state’s first case of COVID-19 found in a dog.
The state Department of Public Health said Wednesday a six-year-old mixed breed was tested for coronavirus after developing a fatal neurological condition. The agency did not say where the dog resided.
The dog was tested after its owners also tested positive for the virus and was euthanized due to the neurological condition, which was unrelated to COVID-19, according to the agency.
Pets and wild animals do not pose a significant threat to spreading COVID-19 among humans, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Research is still being done on how easily the virus can spread from humans to animals.
Health experts advise people who contract COVID-19 to avoid touching their pets and have a relative or friend take care of them.
The Georgia dog is officially the second case of coronavirus confirmed in a U.S. canine since the virus swept across the country starting in March.
A German shepherd in New York was the first positive case, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A pug from North Carolina also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to a study by Duke University in April.
Several lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive for COVID-19 in April.
The Georgia dog’s positive tests were confirmed by state public health officials, the CDC, the USDA and the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 84,000 people in Georgia had tested positive for COVID-19. It had killed 2,827 people.
Gov. Brian Kemp and state health officials are urging Georgians to wear masks in public to help curb a growing number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations seen in recent weeks.
By Beau Evans
Capitol Beat News Service