A tiger in New York City has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a statement from the USDA.
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the Coronavirus.
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The USDA confirmed the news through a statement posted to its website. This is the first case of its kind and the department says more research needs to be done to see if and how different animals are affected by COVID-19.
"Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus," the statement explains. "The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to recover. There is no evidence that other animals in other areas of the zoo are showing symptoms.
"There is no evidence of this virus affecting animals at any other facilities in the United States. However, anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If a sick person must care for a pet or be around animals, they should wash their hands before and after the interaction."
There is currently no evidence that any animals can spread the COVID-19 infection to people.
The USDA and CDC are continuing to monitor the situation.