The Hong Kong pet dog that was tested for coronavirus has died two days after it was released from quarantine.
The dog, identified by the South China Morning Post as a 17-year-old Pomeranian, died on Monday, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in an email, citing the animal’s owner. The department said the cause of death couldn’t be determined after the owner, who recently recovered from a coronavirus infection, declined to conduct an autopsy.
While the dog initially tested “weak positive” for the virus, it showed no symptoms and was released from quarantine on Saturday after further tests produced negative results. The case had been closely watched by animal lovers worried that their pets may be vulnerable to the disease or become potential spreaders. The virus has killed more than 7,800 people worldwide.
The World Organization for Animal Health has cautioned that there is no evidence of pets transmitting the virus to humans: “However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases … it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.”