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North Carolina family's pet pug tests positive for COVID-19

5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, April 29 2020 Apr 29, 2020 April 29, 2020 7:17 AM April 29, 2020 in News
Source: USA Today

CHAPEL HILL, NC - The first confirmed case of coronavirus in a canine was reported in North Carolina after a Duke University study.

After several members of a North Carolina family contracted novel coronavirus, they discovered their pet pug, Winston, tested positive, too. 

Owner Heather McLean, a hospital pediatrician and vice chair and associate professor at Duke University, hopes that it does not spark too much concern over household pets contracting and spreading the virus.

The family says Winston did not display any severe symptoms before they found out he was positive.

Two things did stand out to the family, though. They said he coughed a lot and would not eat his breakfast one morning. 

Heather and her husband, Sam, who works as a researcher and emergency physician at UNC-Chapel Hill, started developing mild symptoms in mid-March. She attributed her own symptoms — scratchy throat and mild headache — to allergies, but they worsened for a bit.

“We didn’t do a good job of distancing ourselves,” she told reporters. “We’re having college and high school in our house too, and we realized our son also had mild symptoms. Our daughter didn't have any symptoms.”

The family eventually recovered and enrolled in a study led by Dr. Chris Woods, a virologist and one of Heather's colleagues at Duke.

Winston has since fully recovered and “has been acting like himself." 

“He’s a very sweet animal; we’re very lucky to have him quarantined with us,” said Heather.

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