By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Two spotted hyenas at the Denver Zoo have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).
These are the first hyenas confirmed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide.
Samples from a variety of species at the zoo, including the hyenas, were collected and tested after lions at the facility showed signs of illness. In addition to the two hyenas, eleven lions and two tigers at the zoo also tested positive for the virus.
Samples from the hyenas tested presumptive positive at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the cases were confirmed at NVSL.
SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in multiple animal species worldwide, mostly in animals that had close contact with a person with COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact. It is important for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to avoid contact with animals, including pets, to protect them from possible infection.