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Dog tests positive for coronavirus in North Carolina, dies from 'acute illness'

A member of the family who owned the dog had previously tested positive for coronavirus.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it detected the state's first case of SARS-CoV-2 in a dog on August 3.

Sadly, the dog didn't make it. On August 11, veterinarians were in the process of performing a necropsy to see what factors lead to its death.

A release from the department said a family brought its dog to the North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital around 6 p.m. on August 3. The family members noticed earlier that day that the dog was having trouble breathing.

Officials did not say what time the dog died, just that it was after they had brought the dog to the Raleigh facility. Officials said the dog "succumbed to its acute illness."

A member of the family that owned the dog had tested positive for coronavirus at one point but had tested negative since that initial test.

Veterinarians ran a PCR test on the dog, and sent the samples to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, where scientists confirmed the dog was positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Carl Williams, the state public health veterinarian, said pet-to-person and pet-to-pet transmission was not a concern as things stand.

“Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low,” he said.

A spokesperson for the state health department said it would be keeping tabs on the chances of coronavirus affecting animals.

"NCDHHS’ Division of Public Health and NCDA&CS are closely monitoring the emerging information about COVID-19 and its consequences for domestic animals," the department wrote.

To protect the family's privacy, the department didn't share the breed or age of the dog.