Tiger Tests Positive for COVID-19 at New York ZOO-First Case of Its Kind in US

A 4-year-old female Malayan tiger that lives in a New York ZOO was positive to coronavirus; say the results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories at the USDA.

The officials claim it’s believed to be the first known case of this infection in an animal in the US or a tiger anywhere.

Covid-19 is a disease which is caused by the virus.

Tiger Positive to Coronavirus

According to the USDA, samples were taken from Nadia, the tiger, after several tigers and lions in the Bronx ZOO had respiratory disease symptoms.

Nadia, her sister Azul, 2 Amur tigers, and 3 African lions had dry cough and a reduced appetite.

But, all of them are expected to recover.

The chief veterinarian in the ZOO, Dr. Paul Calle explained that the testing was done on their Malayan tiger in a veterinary school lab and that this isn’t the same test used on humans.

There’s no competition for testing between these two different situations- human samples can’t be sent to a veterinary lab and vice versa.

How Did the ZOO Animals Contract the Virus?

According to the health officials, they got ill from exposure to an employee in the ZOO who was positive to the disease; however, had no symptoms.

The ZOO has been closed as of mid March and the first tiger began experiencing symptoms on the 27th of March.

No other animals that live there have symptoms.

They tested the big cat from caution and will make sure the knowledge they acquire for the disease contributes to the ongoing understanding of the new virus.

Is there a Chance for Humans to Get Coronavirus from Animals?

The press release of the USDA said that there’s no data that animals transmit the disease to people, except for the initial outbreak that’s believed to have began in the food market in Wuhan, China.

Plus, there is no data showing that a person in the US has been infected by animals, including dogs and cats.

This is the first case of its kind and studies are needed to understand how this disease can impact and if it could impact other animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the CDC recommend that people with the coronavirus limit their contact with animals.

These institutions don’t recommend routine testing of animals for the virus.

They say that the pandemic is evolving and animal health officials may decide to do tests on some animals as a precautionary measure.

Sources:

CBS NEWS

BBC

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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