In Hong Kong a shopkeeper, and 11 of the hamsters in his care, all have the Delta variant of COVID-19. While it seems rare that animals spread COVID-19, Hong Kong is acting out of caution and recommends people not take their hamsters outside.
"We cannot exclude the possibility that the shopkeeper was in fact actually infected from the hamsters," said Edwin Tsui, a controller at the Centre for Health Protection.
"If you own a hamster, you should keep your hamsters at home, do not take them out," department director Leung Siu-fai said at a news conference. "All pet owners should observe good personal hygiene, and after you have been in contact with animals and their food, you should wash your hands."
"Do not kiss your pets," he added.