NEWS/OPINION: I’m afraid that the Internet has rapidly become awash with a story about a four-year-old female tiger named Nadia at the Bronx Zoo in New York City who has tested positive for Covid-19. It is believed that the only way the tiger could have got Covid-19 is from a person who cares for her at the zoo. The infected person was and is asymptomatic or has not yet developed symptoms we understand. Six other cats at the zoo including Nadia’s sister Azul, and two Amur tigers plus three African lions are also apparently suffering from the disease and exhibiting symptoms. Nadia developed a dry cough and was tested and found to be positive.
Preventative measures had been put in place to protect zookeepers and all the other cats at the zoo which is owned by parent company Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). At present they say that there is no evidence to suggest that animals can pass the virus on to people according to the USDA (reported by the Daily Mail).
Comment: I find the above statement very surprising because the whole source of the coronavirus is a transmission of the disease from animals to people in a live animal market in Wuhan, China. It is believed that bats transmitted the disease to people via pangolins. Is not absolutely certain but it is becoming clearer. There is a conspiracy theory that a biologicial warfare laboratory in Wuhan accidentally leaked the disease or it was leaked deliberately.
I don’t have more information about this at this time. I heard the news on the radio. There’s been a couple of cases of domestic cats getting the disease and a Chinese study which was not peer-reviewed indicated that domestic cats can harbour the disease and transmit it between themselves. This all points to something which I find extremely concerning and which may become apparent later namely that companion cats might be able to transmit the disease to people and that people can transmit the disease to cats. At the moment there is no evidence that cats can transmit to people.
In the meantime, no one should do anything with respect to their companion animal. That’s vital obviously. Let’s wait and see what happens and what develops. The Chinese study found that dogs were less susceptible to the disease. New York City is a hotspot for Covid-19 as most of us are aware. In the city alone there have been 65,000 cases and almost 2,500 deaths from the disease at the date of this post.
Almost 3 months after it was prepared UK government publishes scientific risk assessment of companion animals spreading coronavirus