Patterico's Pontifications


USDA: Tiger Found To Be Infected With COVID-19

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

CNN reports:

Nadia, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, has become the first of her kind to test positive for the coronavirus.

The 4-year-old female Malayan tiger tested positive after developing a dry cough and is expected to recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo said in a news release.

Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after the tiger — and five other tigers and lions at the zoo — began showing symptoms of respiratory illness, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). No other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms.

“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,” the zoo said.

From the USDA report:

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in one tiger at a zoo in New York. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness.

Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to recover. There is no evidence that other animals in other areas of the zoo are showing symptoms.

Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus…

As to the question of whether animals can infect humans, the USDA says there is no evidence to suggest that any animals can spread the COVID-19 infection to people.


25 Responses to “USDA: Tiger Found To Be Infected With COVID-19”

  1. I’m glad the tiger got tested. I wish people could get tested as easily. And they don’t need to be put to sleep to do it.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  2. On a side note from Live Science:

    Domestic cats have been infected with COVID-19 by their owners, Live Science previously reported. Cats seem to have a receptor protein on the outsides of respiratory cells that is similar to the human counterpart involved in SARS-CoV-2 infections. Called ACE2, this receptor protein is what allows the virus to break into these cells and multiply.

    “The feline ACE2 protein resembles the human ACE2 homologue, which is most likely the cellular receptor which is being used by SARS-CoV-2 for cell entry,” Steven Van Gucht, virologist and federal spokesperson for the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, told Live Science previously.

    In a recent report published online in the preprint journal medrXiv, Hualan Chen of Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences, described how SARA-CoV-2 was transmitted between cats in their respiratory droplets. Another paper, also published in medrXiv, found that of 102 cats tested in Wuhan, nearly 15% had antibodies to the virus, suggesting they can contract the virus from humans or other cats. No evidence has been found that cats can transmit the virus to humans, the authors of both studies noted.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  3. I heard that small yap dogs, especially toy poodles, were a danger. Of course, this may have been from someone who hates little yap dogs.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I wish people could get tested as easily.

    I just wish they could be tested accurately. The false negative rates are astonishing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. Speaking of critters, whoever knew pandas mating sounded like trying to start a stubborn Chrysler?

    harkin (b64479)

  6. In my state, 624 have tested positive and 18,512 have tested negative. Either the test has false negatives, or we have a lot of hypochondriacs, or the flu is really rampant here.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. Pets are one thing, and caged tigers are another. There’s something strange about this story. I means if there’s one situation where you want to observe social distancing ….

    nk (1d9030)

  8. Body temperature has a lot to do with whether an animal can be infected.

    Some animal in China probably did infect a human or more.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  9. Speaking of Tigers…..

    RIP – Al Kaline

    My favorite player who wasn’t Sandy Koufax when I was a kid.

    What a swing he had.

    harkin (b64479)

  10. Washington State University has begun testing animal samples for the virus:

    The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) has tested two cats. Both results were negative for the COVID-19 virus.

    The first was a cat necropsied and tested at the request of another state’s agency that lived with a human diagnosed with COVID-19. This cat’s death was unrelated to the COVID-19 virus. Necropsy revealed the animal had a common feline heart disease that causes abnormal thickening of the organ’s walls (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). When this condition occurs, the heart labors to pump blood easily and eventually fails. WADDL tested 23 tissues and the cat’s feces. All tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by testing known as real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which was specifically developed for the project by WSU.

    The second case tested at the request of a state agency is a cat that is living with no signs or symptoms of disease. The cat was quarantined with its owner who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Nasal and throat swabs from this cat tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR; similar results were obtained from USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) with further tests pending.

    Their goal is to “begin collecting valuable scientific data for further study especially if animals are determined to be carriers for SARS-CoV-2″.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  11. That’s pre-Iacocca, pre-Fiat Chrysler, Harkin…now they sound like old lawnmowers with less oomph than a ricer-ized Honda.

    urbanleftbehind (386dcf)

  12. Kaline was a great right fielder. Loved watching him play. I think he came into the league as a teenager.

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. How many ventilators does a tiger need?
    Hope the elephants have been quarantined.

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. House cats have a normal Temp of 100.5 to 102.5 – what effect would that have on the virus?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  15. R.I.P. Honor Blackman

    She was and will forever be Pussy Galore.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  16. RIP – Al Kaline

    “Mr. Tiger”

    As a Detroit native, this makes me sad.

    I got his autograph when I was in elementary school.

    Dave (1bb933)

  17. House cats have a normal Temp of 100.5 to 102.5 – what effect would that have on the virus?

    Bats have very high body temperatures when they are active too.

    One thing that may make the CV dangerous is that it is more resistant to high temperatures than most viruses.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. Mickey Lolich and Willy Horton were my favorite Tigers of that era, when I was a kid, though.

    I taught myself to throw left-handed when I was eight or nine, so I could be like Mickey.

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. Dick Mcaulife had a weird batting stance. Norm Cash killed the Twins. That 68 Team was loaded. Stanley, Freehan and Mclain.

    mg (8cbc69)

  20. Saw McClain win his 29th against the Angels in September of ’68.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. Kaline, Colavito and Cash. What a batting lineup. Loved going to Briggs Stadium to watch them.

    ColoComment (2429fb)

  22. That 68 Team was loaded. Stanley, Freehan and Mclain.

    Jim Northrup had grand slams in consecutive at-bats that year. It was their year.

    I was only five so I don’t remember much of that season. I do recall my babysitter’s husband and their friends celebrating the end of Game 7 though.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. That was just about McLain’s last good year. He was out of baseball a few years later and his career later made Pete Rose look like an altar boy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. Well, as saddened as I am to hear about zoo animals being infected, it is not in the least surprising.

    I mean, it goes back to the bubonic plaque in the 1300s. There is the common narrative that it was spread by fleas on rats on ships from East Asia. Blame it all on the Chinese, it’s one the oldest prejudices in the West.

    But let’s get real serious here. Fleas do not only feed on rats and humans. They feed on hoarses, cattle, hogs, sheep, dogs, cats, squirrels, bats, what have you.

    The bubonic plague had several vectors. If bitten by a flea, which could have contracted the bacteria from any one of number of sources, the infection would spread through the blood and lymphatic systems. First symptoms would be swellings, buboes, around the underarms and groin. If inhaled, from infected air around droppings of any number of animals, the infection would spread through the respiratory system. First symptoms would be coughing of blood.

    Either way, dead in four days. The bubonic plague wiped out half the population of Europe and Britain in a eighteen months. Imagine that, one out of every two people dead within two years.

    We’re not at that point with this coronavirus yet. But this pandemic could easily spinout of control, due to the ineptitude and incompetence, of this administration.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  25. What’s out-of-control is the fear-mongering

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

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