By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced recently the confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in a binturong (bearcat) and a fishing cat at a zoo in Illinois. These are the first of either species confirmed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States.
Samples from a variety of species at the zoo, including the binturong and fishing cat, were collected and tested after a tiger at the facility showed signs of the virus.
SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in a small number of animal species worldwide, mostly in animals that had close contact with a person with COVID-19. At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended.
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 pets and other animals to protect them from possible infection.
Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low.