CDC confirms eight-year-old Newfoundland in North Carolina is one of two “ongoing investigations” into COVID pets that died

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Thomas Skinner confirmed to TCR on Tuesday evening that a case in North Carolina involving an eight-year-old Newfoundland dog that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and did not survive is one of two “ongoing investigations” being conducted by CDC researchers into animals with “severe outcomes.”

As we reported exclusively last week, CDC’s One Health Office director Casey Barton Behravesh confirmed to TCR that she and her team have been working to produce a paper that will reveal the long-awaited findings from CDC’s investigations into five animals (four dogs and one cat) that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and did not survive.

Dr. Ryan Wallace, who works with Dr. Barton Behravesh, spoke with TCR last week about the paper’s objectives: “We’re in the process of trying to gather details related to the process of transmission dynamics, the clinical process of the animals’ infection, and then, any role that SARS-CoV-2 might have played in their outcome….Two of the animals are still under investigation,” he added, “and we want to make sure we have all of the relevant information that’s available [before the paper is published].”

Details about confirmed cases of the virus in animals have been extremely limited. In the case of the dog in North Carolina, “River,” the press release from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services omitted even the age, gender, and breed of the dog that died and Dr. Carl Williams, the State Veterinarian, has not returned TCR’s requests for comment. Officials have declined to provide the information when TCR has followed up. A public records request for information about the case has yet to yield any documents and will be three-weeks-old tomorrow. Last week, some details finally emerged when the dog’s owner agreed to an interview with a local media entity,  The Sandhills Sentinel.

This afternoon, CDC’s Barton Behravesh is scheduled to deliver a presentation (“One Health News”) during the office’s monthly live teleconference, which is open to the public.