Dog from North Carolina who died after breathing respiratory disease tested positive for virus that causes COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) – A dog that has died from signs of respiratory distress has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

This marks the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in a dog in North Carolina.

According to NCDHHS, arriving last Monday at 6 a.m., a client arrived at NC State Veterinary Hospital with her dog who had demonstrated signs of respiratory distress at the start earlier that day.

The dog later died of his disease. The client told staff that a family member had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and later tested negative.

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Samples collected from the dog were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and were then sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories for testing.

Those tests confirmed a positive result, according to NCDHHS.

A necropsy was performed to try to determine the health status of the animal at the time of death and the cause of death. That investigation is still ongoing.

“Based on the available information, the risk of animals spreading the virus to humans is considered low,” said Drs. Carl Williams, Public Sector for Public Health, in a news release.

If pet owners are concerned about their dog’s health, they should contact their veterinarian and discuss the dog’s symptoms before bringing them to the veterinary office.

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According to the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there is currently no evidence that pets play a major role in spreading the virus.

“There is currently no indication that dogs can transmit the virus to other animals, so there is no justification for taking measures against companion animals that may endanger their welfare,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes .

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