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Pet groomers take preventive measure against the coronavirus while working on the dogs. Photo: Lam Yik/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Pet owners are urged to adopt "good hygiene practices" like avoiding kissing animals after a dog was found to have a "low-level of infection" of the novel coronavirus, Hong Kong authorities said in a statement Wednesday.

Why it matters: This would appear to be the first case of a likely human-to-animal transmission, per a spokesman for the city's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. But he stressed there's "no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick."

The big picture: The dog returned a "weak positive" reading in its nasal and oral cavities for COVID-19 after repeated tests conducted over several days, the Hong Kong spokesman said. "The dog has not shown any signs of disease related to COVID-19," he said.

  • The animal has been placed into quarantine with another dog, which tested negative to the virus that's infected over 95,000 people worldwide, per the statement. The infected dog won't be released until it returns a negative reading and the other animal must clear one more test before it can go home.

What they're saying: A CDC statement notes it's "not received any reports" of animals becoming sick with the virus and there's currently "no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19."

  • The World Organization for Animal Health also points out there are no examples of animals transmitting the virus to humans. But it adds, "[B]ecause animals and people can sometimes share diseases ... it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus."

Go deeper: Your best defense against coronavirus

Go deeper

Inequality Index signals October jobs growth for lower-income Americans

Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Polling for the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index suggests that as the Delta variant ebbed over the last month, job security improved for lower-income Americans.

The big picture: As a result of the improving environment, the Inequality Index this month declined to its lowest point since April — reversing a significant spike in September.

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on climate change's threat to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.