COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A dog in South Carolina has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, the first confirmed animal detection of the virus in the state.
A private veterinarian decided to test the Charleston County dog, an 8- or 9-year-old shepherd mix, after one of its owners was confirmed to have COVID-19, said Dr. Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, in a news release Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the virus in the dog July 9, according to the news release.
Parr said there continues to be no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the virus to people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend routine testing of animals for the virus at this time.
“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,” Parr said.
The dog was euthanized due to a chronic health condition.
As of Thursday, lions, tigers, cats and dogs had confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus across seven states, according to the USDA.