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Tigers and lions in a US zoo catch COVID-19


The caregivers decided to test them after detecting a high appetite, cough, sneezing and fatigue. How they contracted the disease is still unknown. The center will remain open because the animals are at a great distance from the public.

By Tim Fitzsimons - NBC News

Nine big cats at the National Zoo in Washington DC have been infected with coronavirus after diagnostic tests confirmed their positive for COVID-19, the Smithsonian Institution reported Friday.

Animal keepers observed high appetite, coughing, sneezing and fatigue in six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers.

Despite the results of the tests, the diagnosis is expected to be confirmed after the animals have been subjected to further tests, explained the Smithsonian, who operates the zoo.

 "All lions and tigers are being treated with anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea medications to treat discomfort and decreased appetite," the zoo explained on its website.

Additionally, they are also receiving antibiotics for a possible secondary bacterial pneumonia.

The big cats will remain in their indoor and outdoor habitats, and pose no risk to visitors due to the "considerable distance between animals and visitors," said zoo officials.

There are no other animals showing symptoms of coronavirus, but an experimental veterinary coronavirus vaccine will be distributed to animals considered at risk of contracting the disease, they noted.

[A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo catches COVID-19]

Zoo officials said they did not know how the animals were infected and said staff members who take care of their welfare wear masks when around the animals.

Outbreaks among animals kept in confined spaces on fur farms led to the slaughter of thousands of minks in Denmark in 2020.

Some animals at a Denver zoo will be vaccinated against COVID-19

July 8, 202101: 42

 Scientists have known for more than a year that domestic animals can catch coronavirus from humans.

Cats, in fact, seem more vulnerable than dogs. 

Lions and tigers were singled out as especially at risk for the disease in 2020 because many are kept in captivity in unregulated zoos and private residences.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-09-18

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