TASS, April 6. A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for COVID-19, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said in a statement on its website on Sunday.
"Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover," WCS said.
"We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," the organization added. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa confirmed the test.
According to the statement, this is the first known case in the world when a tiger was infected with the new coronavirus. Representatives of the laboratory say that the animal could be infected by a zoo employee.
Earlier, the website of the bioRxiv digital library published an article about a recent research conducted by Chinese biologists. They studied the effect of a new type of coronavirus on various domestic animals and came to the conclusion that it does not infect pigs, dogs, chickens and ducks, but at the same time cats can be infected by airborne transmission.
The US now ranks first in the world for the number of people infected with the coronavirus. According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 335,500 coronavirus cases have been identified in the United States, 9,562 patients have died and17,266 have recovered.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 1.1 million people have been infected worldwide and over 60,000 deaths have been reported.