Pug in North Carolina Becomes First US Dog to Contract Coronavirus

Winston, a pug who belongs to a family in North Carolina, has become the first known dog in the United States to contract the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Previously, the first domestic pets to contract the disease were two cats in New York City.

The dog was tested after the family noticed minor symptoms.

“Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual,” Heather McLean, the family’s mother, said.

“(The dog) licks all of our dinner plates and sleeps in my mom’s bed, and we’re the ones who put our faces into his face. So, it makes sense that he got (coronavirus).”

Winston is reportedly feeling better and recovering.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 55,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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