In what is believed to be the first case of human to animal transmission of the Coronavirus, a tiger in the Bronx Zoo in New York city has tested positive for Covid-19.
Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger that tested positive, was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which managed the zoo, said in a statement.
None of the animals are in any danger and are expected to recover soon.
It is believed that the animals came in contact with one of the employees of the zoo who later tested positive for the virus.
The Coronavirus is said to be a zoonotic disease (spread from animals to humans). However, this appears to be first time that an animal has been infected after coming in contact with a human.
Paul Calle, the Chief Veterinarian said:
“This is the first time that any of us know of anywhere in the world that a person infected the animal and the animal got sick. “
The zoo will be sharing these findings with other institutions to “get a better understanding”, added Paul.
Nadia underwent an ultrasound, X ray and blood tests after falling terribly sick.
The zoo has been shut since March 27, according to US Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
Earlier in April, a pet cat of a COVID-19 positive patient too tested positive for the virus. It was the first known case amongst animals anywhere in the world.