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Tiger At The Bronx Zoo Tests Positive For COVID-19

For a time, it seemed as though the conventional wisdom was that cats couldn't get COVID-19. For this reason, when pictures of someone walking around with a face mask strapped to their cat circulated the internet, they were the subject of some ridicule.

Although people acknowledged the good intentions behind this person's actions, they seemed unnecessary. Like we said, cats can't get it, right?

Well, the truth is that we now have confirmed examples of cats contracting the virus. They're just a lot larger than we might have expected.

Information about the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing and Diply is committed to providing the most recent data as it becomes available. Some of the information in this story may have changed since publication, and we encourage readers to use online resources from CDC and WHO to stay up to date on the latest information surrounding COVID-19

Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for coronavirus.

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As CNN reported, she is the first of her kind to do so.

She was one of six lions and tigers to be tested at the zoo after all of them showed signs of respiratory illness. In Nadia's case, she developed a dry cough.

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As the zoo has been closed to the public since March 16, the only possible source for this infection could be a zoo employee.

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And indeed, it turns out that one of the zookeepers happened to be infected with the virus while caring for them. This person was apparently asymptomatic at the time.

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Although it's still unknown how a virus like this develops in lions and tigers, the animals involved are expected to recover.

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As a representative from the Bronx Zoo told CNN, "Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers."

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And for anyone balking at the idea of tigers being tested for the virus when so many people have no access to testing, their tests wouldn't have helped us anyway.

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As the zoo's chief veterinarian Dr. Paul Calle said, the kind of test that Nadia received is not the same that is administered to a human patient, nor is it compatible with humans.

The USDA is now advising those ill with COVID-19 to minimize contact with animals, including pets, until more is known about the virus.

h/t: CNN

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