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Tiger at Bronx Zoo Positive for Coronavirus

Bronx Zoo Tiger Coronaviurs PositiveWe’ve just learned that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus. The zoo believes it to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S.A or a tiger anywhere.

Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger as well as six other tigers and lions that have all fallen ill. They think a zoo employee who had coronavirus but wasn’t showing symptoms yet infected them. Symptoms appeared in the first animal on March 27. They are all  expected to recover.. 

Zoo officials are astonished. The director Jim Breheny said he hopes the finding can contribute to the global fight against coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  He went on to say, “Any kind of knowledge that we get on how it’s transmitted, how different species react to it, that knowledge somehow is going to provide a greater base resource for people.”

These coronavirus findings bring up new questions with regard to the transmission of the virus in animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are no known cases of the virus in U.S. pets or livestock.

Veterinarian Reports

Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, made a statement. She said that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that suggests that animals can spread the corona virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States. 

On Sunday, the USDA said it’s not suggesting routine coronavirus testing of animals, in zoos or elsewhere, or of zoo employees. Rooney said USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories have tested a small number of animals in the U.S. All those tests came back negative except Nadia’s. 

There have been a few reports outside the U.S. of pet dogs or cats that became infected with coronavirus after close contact with contagious people. There was a Hong Kong dog that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February/March. The authorities think that pet dogs and cats couldn’t pass the virus to human beings. Consequently, they indicate it’s possible for the animals to test positive if they are exposed by their owners, . 

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that people ill with the coronavirus ought to limit contact with animals.

Animal Testing for Corona Virus

Dr. Paul Calle, the zoo’s chief veterinarian reported that Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed dry coughs. Some of them suffered with wheezing and loss of appetite. A coronavirus test was performed on only Nadia, the tiger. This is because it takes anesthesia to get a sample from a big cat.  They were reluctant to do that again. Unfortunately, in order to be examined,  they had to knock Nadia out once before.

Dr. Paul Calle, Bronx Zoo chief veterinarian posted on Facebook and said; “The COVID-19 testing that was performed on our Malayan tiger Nadia was performed in a veterinary school laboratory and is not the same test as is used for people. You cannot send human samples to the veterinary laboratory, and you cannot send animal tests to the human laboratories, so there is no competition for testing between these very different situations.”

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