NC family dog first in U.S. to test positive for COVID-19


(CNN Newsource) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low, but the agency sayidit appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.

That was the case for a family in North Carolina, whose pug was diagnosed with the virus.

Dr. Heather McLean and her family of four are fresh out of quarantine.

“This has been very stressful and we’re grateful we made it through,” she said.

In March, all members of the family, except her daughter, tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’ve all recovered. We’ve felt great for the last two weeks. Everything seems very back to normal.” McLean said.

On April 1, the family joined a new study conducted by Duke.

“They all came out to our house and did blood samples. For the humans, they swabbed our noses as well as our mouths, and then for the animals they did oral swabs for both dogs and the cat,” McLean said.

To her surprise, McLean said one of her pets tested positive for the coronavirus.

The study showed Winston, the family’s fun-loving pug, contracted the virus.

Researchers said to their knowledge, this was the first instance in which the coronavirus has been detected in a dog.

“It was kind of in the midst of when we were all sick,” McLean said.

McLean noticed something was off.

“His symptoms were mild. Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he was very gaggy, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual,” she said.

The family said Winston has been doing a lot better and was only sick for a few days.

“Hopefully we’ll learn more through the research study, and I think because there’s not a lot of studies and sampling pets, we just don’t know yet. My advice is just not to get too worried about it,” McLean said.

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