Winston, a North Carolina pug, recently tested positive for COVID-19. He is likely to be the very first American dog to have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Duke University conducted a study wherein they tested all of the McLeans, Winston’s family, for the new respiratory virus. Winston’s mom, Heather McLean, is a pediatrician at Duke. According to her, on April 1, an entire team came to their house to get blood samples. The medical staff swabbed the noses and mouths of the human family members while they did oral swabs for the dogs and the cat.

Posted by Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday, 29 April 2020


Aside from Winston, three more family members tested positive – Heather, Samuel (Heather’s husband), and Ben (Heather’s son). The other dog, the cat, and Sydney (Heather’s daughter) were all negative of the virus. According to reports, Samuel works at UNC Hospital’s emergency room.

The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Chris Woods, believes that Winston is the first known COVID-19 positive case in dogs in the country. Heather confirmed that Winston had mild symptoms of the coronavirus before they received the test result. Thankfully, the pup was able to recover a few days later.

Posted by Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday, 29 April 2020


According to Heather, pugs have a bizarre way of coughing and sneezing. So, Winston almost looked like he was gagging. The pet mom recalled that there was also a day when Winston had no appetite, which was very unusual for a food-loving dog like him.

Heather hopes that after the research, we will learn more about the disease. She advised the anxious pet owners not to worry so much about it. Ben, on the other hand, said that it was not surprising for Winston to have the virus.

The pup often licks their plates and also sleeps on his mom’s bed. Usually, the family puts their faces into Winston’s face too. So, Ben thinks that it only makes sense for him to test positive.

Credit: Alysin Camerota


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