A SECOND dog has tested positive for coronavirus after reportedly contracting the condition from its owner.
The pooch is a German Shepherd from Hong Kong, where a first dog is known to have died last month after becoming infected.
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Experts have said the German Shepherd is like to have caught the virus from its owner instead of the other way around, TMZ reports.
It had previously not been known whether animals could contract the virus, and the World Organisation for Animal Health has reiterated that there is no evidence to suggest pets can pass the virus to their owners.
Concerns have been raised that people will begin abandoning their pets in a bid to lower their own risk of infection.
The German Shepherd was placed in isolation on Thursday along with another dog from the same household after their owner tested positive.
Neither animal is currently displaying any symptoms.
Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the second animal had not been diagnosed with coronavirus, but that both dogs are being closely monitored.
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The news comes just days after the first dog diagnosed with the virus, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, died two days after being released from a quarantine.
The dog had been under mandatory quarantine since February 26, and had tested negative before being allowed to return home.
The animal's owner had earlier tested positive for the virus and been hospitalised, though has since made a recovery.
Hong Kong has been forced to place a number of other animals under quarantine in recent weeks, though the others were all confirmed not to have contracted the virus.
The territory, which borders mainland China, where the outbreak began, has so far seen more than 250 coronavirus cases and four deaths confirmed.
The first confirmed cases appeared there in January, but strict measures put in place kept the virus from spreading.
But fears remain of a wider outbreak and the impact it could have, and Hong Kong residents are being asked to avoid all non-essential travel.
The pandemic has infected some 250,000 people worldwide and killed more than 10,000.
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