weather icon Clear

North Carolina pug tests positive for coronavirus

After several members of a North Carolina family tested positive for the new coronavirus, they found out their pet pug tested positive, too, possibly the first dog in the United States to be diagnosed with the virus, USA Today reported.

But owner Heather McLean, a hospital pediatrician and vice chair and associate professor at Duke University, hopes that it doesn’t spark too much concern over household pets contracting and spreading the virus.

The McLeans discovered Friday that their pug, Winston, tested positive for COVID-19. He didn’t display any severe symptoms before they found out, said McLean’s 17-year-old daughter, Sydney.

Two things did stand out to the family, though: “My dad heard him cough a lot,” she said. “He didn’t eat his breakfast one morning and it’s weird because he’s a pug, but who knows?”

Heather McLean 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 among them — to allergies, but they worsened for a bit.

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

Every week since the beginning of April, a team of researchers has come to their house to perform blood tests and nasal swabs for the family.

“On the first day,” Heather explained, “they nasal swabbed all the pets — the two dogs and the cat.”

Woods told NBC News that Winston may be the first dog nationwide to have a confirmed case of the virus. Fortunately, the other two creatures tested negative.

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.

Multiple veterinary experts, including representatives from the American Veterinary Medical Association, have previously said that there is no evidence yet that the coronavirus can spread from an infected pet to a human.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Report: Thousands at risk of eviction by September

A report from the nonpartisan research group The Guinn Center suggests that between 272,000 and 327,000 Nevadans could face eviction by September after protections enacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic expire.

New face to join Nye County Water District Governing Board

For anyone who has been following the water issues in Nye County over the years, it is no secret that the Nye County Water District and its associated governing board are sources of contention and fierce debate among not just the public but the members of the Nye County Commission as well.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, July 11 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $23 million.

COVID-19 contact tracing attracts scammers

Contact tracing can help stop the spread of COVID-19, and a contact tracer from the health department might call if you have been exposed. But scammers are pretending to be contact tracers, and residents should be wary.

Blood donors can learn COVID-19 antibody status

Vitalant, the first national blood bank to test all blood donations for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is heading to Pahrump for a blood drive. All donors will receive a COVID-19 antibody test with each successful donation.

Red Cross seeks volunteers to help during wildfire season

As large fires, including the Poeville, Mahogany and Numbers fires, have affected hundreds of people as hot, dry, windy conditions have taken hold, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers.

State’s initial unemployment claims rise 12.4% last week

Finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation show initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 12,484 for the week ending July 4, up 1,374 claims, or 12.4 percent, compared to last week’s total of 11,110.