Veterinary experts said more research is needed to understand the threat of a pet infecting its owner, even if it appears low.
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo was sickened with the new coronavirus, but veterinary experts say more research is needed into how COVID-19 could affect pets.
Evidence suggests that COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, may have first infected humans viatransmission at an animal marketin Wuhan, China. Veterinary experts said more research is needed to understand the threat of a pet infecting its owner, even if it appears low.
"This is an important case because it is a natural infection," said Karen Terio, chief of the Zoological Pathology Program at the University of Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine."But a tiger is different than a domestic cat, and I can't emphasize that enough."
In"the first case of its kind," a caretaker is believed to have transmitted the virus to Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Sunday.Nadia and several other tigers and lions at the zoo began showing respiratory symptoms, and the tiger was tested after meeting the necessary criteria for animal testing and getting approval from animal and public health officials, Terio said.
Leyi Wang, a veterinary virologist at the University of Illinois who studies coronaviruses in animals and received the test sample, said genetic tests showed the virus in the cat matched more than 99% to the virus in humans."Basically, it's the same virus," he said.
Can pets get the coronavirus?Even before the confirmed case of COVID-19 in the tiger, the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Preventionrecommended that sick people limit contact with their pets if possible.With tigers,"there's a degree of social distancing that you automatically do," Terio said. It's possible the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or through fomites, such as the animal's food, but the exact means of transmission is unknown, she said.
In Hong Kong,at least two dogs tested positivefor the virus after close exposure with their owners who were sick with COVID-19."We don't know whether any pets in the U.S. have a similar coronavirus or not. So there's still more work needed to be done on the different animal species in terms of surveillance," Wang said.
Terio said,"If you think about the number of people in this country and around the world that have been infected with this virus and have gotten very ill with this virus, and if you think about the number of people who have pet cats, the fact that we're seeing the first case in a tiger, to me, suggests that there's probably some differences in how even the different cat species respond to the virus."
Terio explained that viral proteins and genetic differences in receptors that a virus uses to attack a person or animal differ between species, and those differences could cause the virus to be more severe in one species than another.The ACE-2 receptor, or angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, is the enzyme in humans the virus uses as an entryway. ACE-2 receptors are similar in felines and humans, Terio said, but there are differences. And it's not the same among all cats.
"There's all sorts of different steps between getting exposed to a virus and developing disease that are going to depend on species," Terio said. "And a tiger is a different species than a domestic cat and in a completely different family than dogs, so there's a lot of potential differences and reasons for why you might see something in one species versus another."
Could pets be infected but asymptotic, like some people?This is unknown and more research is needed, Terio said.Some early studies in China suggested it's possible that cats were infected but their immune systems fought off disease."Whether that's applicable across species is unknown. We also don't necessarily know – maybe they did get mildly sick and then they recovered. We don't know," Terio said.
At the Bronx Zoo, Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed a dry cough but are expected to recover. The cats experienced some decreased appetite, though they have been otherwise healthy.
Read more: USA TODAY
Coronavirus has existed for years.. Pets get a vaccine.. but covid 19? Really .. so hard to believe 🤦♀️ My cats never GO out from home. How would my pets get it? They don’t drive, go shopping, etc. Irresponsible statement without control without investigation. He should be convicted. Whoever posted that declaration crap against a species in the way of extinction
I have dogs so.... I’m good Jesus has made a way, when no other cannot and that is to take us to paradise or the place of perfection.
Tiger at NYC's Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirusA tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday. The 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia, and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen How'd that tiger get a test?
A Tiger At The Bronx Zoo Has Tested Positive For The CoronavirusSix other tigers also showed symptoms of a dry cough. 1. Why did they test a tiger? 2. Is the tiger symptomatic? Resting comfortably? 3. How do we blame Trump for this atrocity? I doubt Tiger Balm will work on this Tigers get tested before people?
Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive for Coronavirus, First U.S.-Based AnimalThe first animal in America has tested positive for COVID-19, the Bronx Zoo says. Fucking Carole Baskin ... That Bitch Bitch got tested before me 🤦🏾♂️
Tiger at NYC's Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirusA tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the new coronavirus The Bronx Zoo rn Wtf
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirusNadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for coronavirus. This is the first known instance of a tiger being infected, the USDA says. So did the tiger get it from a human? Can tigers reciprocate? Other animals? Not good. That’s not good. WTH? How did the tiger get it and I thought I saw a report stating that animals can't get it?
Tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for the coronavirusA 4-year-old tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for COVID-19. I assume the tiger was tested only after every human employee was tested, right? Where is his mask? Joe Exotic get let out?