COVID-19: Tiger in NYC tests positive; first human to animal transmission suspected

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.

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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.

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