(Southside Light News) — The Bronx Zoo, in New York City, says the test result was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
The Malaysian Tigers along with two Amur tigers and three African lions, have developed a dry cough and all are expected to fully recover, the press release says.
The cats are thought to have been infected by a zookeeper.
The big cats did have some decrease in appetite but "are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the zoo said.
The zoo says it is not known how the virus will develop in animals like tigers and lions since various species can react differently to new infections, but all the animals will be closely monitored.
Veterinary experts at Texas A&M University say that the spread of the virus among animals is a concern. They told the Southside Light on Sunday that two dogs and two cat living with people diagnosed with COVID-19 have been reported to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the technical name for the Coronavirus.
They said that other dogs and cats also living with infected people remain uninfected. New research articles have been posted to open-access sites on an almost daily basis that describe preliminary results suggesting some domestic animals can be experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 and may transmit the virus to other animals in an experimental setting or mount a viral-specific immune response when exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
Until Sunday, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States. Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations continue to agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets, under natural conditions, spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
Experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association told us on Sunday that Coronavirus was first reported as a cause of diarrhea in calves in the United States in 1973, and since then they have been recognized worldwide in association with the three clinical syndromes. The economic impact of respiratory disease and calf diarrhea is considerable, they say.
Researchers believe that Bovine Coronavirus and human COVID-19 are two different things altogether and should not be interpreted as even being altogether similar. However, they did say that today’s notification from the Bronx Zoo is interesting and should be closely monitored by health officials.