A pug in North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first dog to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States, according to WRAL-TV.
Winston the pug was tested as part of a study at Duke University after the whole family tested positive for the coronavirus. The family’s mother, father and son all tested positive.
Heather McLean, the mother of the family, told WRAL-TV that Winston was experiencing mild symptoms before the test. While sick, the dog was coughing and sneezing, and even seemed like he was gagging, McLean said. One day, it didn’t care to eat.
“(The dog) licks all of our dinner plates and sleeps in my mom’s bed, and we’re the ones who put our faces into his face. So, it makes sense that he got (coronavirus),” McLean’s son, Ben, told WRAL-TV.
The family has three other pets along with Winston: a dog, a cat and a lizard. The two dogs and cat were all tested as part of the study, but only Winston tested positive.
Winston was sick for just a few days, but is feeling better now, the report said.
“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,” McLean said to the media outlet. “My advice is just not to get too worried about it.”
Last week, two cats tested positive for the coronavirus. That marked the first instance of a household pet testing positive. Earlier this month, seven tigers and lions tested positive for the virus at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
U.S. authorities say that while it appears some animals can get the virus from people, there’s no indication the animals are transmitting it to human beings.
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