Yesterday, the WHO's coronavirus myth-buster page said there was no evidence that animals such as dogs or cats could be infected with virus. Today, that section is gone.

The WHO told Quartz in an email that, "currently, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans with Covid-19."

The revised stance comes in the wake of an infected dog being found in Hong Kong. The dog tested positive after remaining with its owners who were sick with the virus. The dog wasn't showing any clinical signs of the disease, according to a report from World Organisation for Animal Health. There's no evidence that dogs can spread the disease or that the disease can cause an animal to fall ill, the organization says, though further studies may bring new findings.

The organization advises pet owners infected or susceptible of being infected with the coronavirus to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible. More information regarding pet health amid the epidemic can be found on their website.

Shelley Rankin, a microbiologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, advises pet owners include animals in their family's preparedness planning. She told Science, that some animals might be quarantined in a hospital, or at home.


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