Louisiana dog tests positive for COVID-19, state agency confirms

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Louisiana’s agriculture department said a dog in the state has tested positive for the coronavirus, the state’s first confirmed case in an animal.

A nasal swab test determined the dog’s infection, the department said.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said no evidence suggests that pets play a significant role in helping to spread the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, and he urged people not to abandon their pets because of worry.

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β€œIt appears that people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact. It is important for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection,” Strain said in a statement. “At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended.”

The agriculture department refused to provide details about the dog, where its owner lives or any information that could help identify the pet owner, citing federal health privacy laws.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a small number of pets around the world have been reported with coronavirus infections. The CDC recommends that anyone sick with COVID-19 should maintain distance from pets.