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Dog in Georgia tests positive for virus that causes COVID-19, health officials say

DPH said a second dog in the same household was tested as well; the results are still pending.

ATLANTA — Georgia health officials have confirmed that a dog in the state has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

In a news release, the Georgia Department of Public Health said the 6-year-old mixed breed dog developed "sudden onset of neurological illness." The illness progressed rapidly over a couple of days and the dog was euthanized.

While the dog did test positive for SARS-CoV-2, health officials said the progressive neurological illness was caused by another condition.

DPH said the dog's owners recently tested positive for COVID-19, but the dog didn't have any evidence of the illness.  As a precautionary measure, a SARS-CoV-2 test was performed. The presumptive positive result was later confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory. 

A second dog in the same household was tested as well; the results are still pending. 

DPH said people who have COVID-19 should take the following precautions if they have pets:

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

DPH said there is little is known about SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals. However, they said they are not thought to be a source of infection for humans. Get more information about COVID-19 and animals on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 


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