[guest post by Dana]
Minks in the Netherlands:
Two mink farms in the Netherlands have been put into quarantine after animals were found to be infected with the new coronavirus, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday, urging people to report any other likely cases in the animals.
The mink, which were tested after showing signs of having trouble breathing, were believed to have been infected by employees who had the virus, the ministry said in a statement.
The possibility that they could further spread the virus to humans or other animals on the farms was “minimal”, the ministry said, citing advice from national health authorities.
However movement of the ferret-like mammals and their manure was banned and the ministry said it was studying the outbreak carefully, including testing the air and soil.
A family’s dog in the U.S.:
The family was involved in a study at Duke in which the mother, father and son tested positive for COVID-19. During this study, the family had their pets tested and found out their pug, Winston, had coronavirus.
Dr. Chris Woods, the principal investigator of the Duke study, said, “The virus that causes COVID-19 was detected,” and he believes it’s the first known positive case in a dog in the United States.
The family’s mother, Heather McLean, is a pediatrician at Duke. She said their dog was experiencing mild symptoms. “Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual,” she said.
Note (and, eew…):
“(The dog) licks all of our dinner plates and sleeps in my mom’s bed, and we’re the ones who put our faces into his face. So, it makes sense that he got (coronavirus),” said McLean’s son, Ben.
Last week, Smithsonian Magazine published a report which questioned why the virus behind the disease affects only certain animals:
In just a few months, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put billions of humans at risk. But as researchers work around the clock to understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the disease, some have begun to worry that countless others may be at stake: animals who could catch the germ from their distant Homo sapiens cousins.
Recent reports of SARS-CoV-2 infecting creatures such as monkeys, dogs, ferrets, domestic cats and even a tiger have raised the possibility that the pathogen could plague other species—including, perhaps, ones already imperiled by other, non-infectious threats.
…[H]umans remain the virus’ most vulnerable victims, as well as the hosts most likely to spread the disease from place to place. There is also no evidence that animals are passing the pathogen to people, says Jane Sykes, a veterinarian and animal virus researcher at the University of California, Davis. However, studying the creatures this stealthy virus has affected so far could help scientists understand what makes some species—but not others—susceptible.
Specifics detailed at the link.