(EDITORS PLEASE NOTE - REFEEDING STORY FROM APRIL 28, 2020) A North Carolina pug named Winston has become the first U.S. dog to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
That's according to the American Humane Society on Tuesday (April 28).
In a statement they said the pug was living with three family members who have tested positive for the coronavirus and had apparently contracted the virus from one of them.
Winston is only the latest pooch to be affected by the coronavirus.
Early last month, Hong Kong authorities also said the pet dog of a virus patient tested positive and was quote "likely" the first case of human to animal transmission.
And last week, two cats in separate parts of New York state became the first pets in the U.S. to test positive.
But top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned last week that there was still no evidence pets can spread the virus to humans.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, SAYING: "Certainly animals, pets can get infected.
Big cats in in zoos have been reported to be infected with coronavirus.
There's no evidence that the virus is transmitted from a pet to a human." The U.S. Center for Disease Control said very few infections have been reported in animals worldwide so far, and it has not yet called for routine testing of animals.
But earlier this month, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science suggested cats can catch the coronavirus, while antibody tests showed dogs appeared to be less vulnerable.
The study then prompted the World Health Organization to say it will look more closely into the role of pets in the ongoing health crisis.