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.
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