S.C. dog tests positive for COVID-19 virus for first time

S.C. dog tests positive for COVID-19 virus for first time
Richmond Public Schools says an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (Source: Coronavirus graphic)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – A Charleston County dog has been confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, according to a press release from Clemson University.

Dr. Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health (LPH), said a private veterinarian decided to test the dog – an 8- or 9-year-old shepherd mix – for SARS-CoV-2 after one of its owners was confirmed to have COVID-19.

Veterinary findings indicated the dog had a chronic health condition.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the virus in the dog July 9. Clemson LPH and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control continue to investigate this case with USDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assure any information relevant to COVID-19 is documented, the release stated.

“Based on current knowledge, there continues to be no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people,” Parr said. “It remains a good idea to restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you do with other people, if you are infected with COVID-19 in order to protect them from exposure to the virus as recommended by the CDC.”

The dog had to be euthanized due to his chronic condition, Parr said.

This is the first confirmed animal detection of SARS-CoV-2 in South Carolina. Routine testing of animals is not recommended at this time. The CDC includes more information about testing animals here.

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