Several Gorillas Test Positive for COVID In The United States

The infection might have come from a COVID-positive member of the park’s wildlife care team.

2 min read
Gorillas at risk from COVID.

In a first of its kind case in the United States and the world, several gorillas have tested positive for the coronavirus at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Monday, 11 January reported Business Standard.

Lisa Peterson, the executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, told The Associated Press that a total of eight gorillas living in the park together might be coronavirus positive, as all have been coughing.

There is a possibility that the infection might have come from a COVID-positive member of the park’s wildlife care team. The team members when dealing with gorillas have been wearing masks at all times. Because of the lockdown imposed by the state of California, the park has been closed for the public since 6 December.

The gorillas will remain in their habitat under the monitoring of veterinarians at the park Peterson said and they are being given nutrients, liquid, and food yet no particular treatment for the infection.

“Besides some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are progressing nicely,” Peterson said.

From minks to tigers, we have seen that other wildlife contract the virus, but this is the first known case in which the infection got transmitted to great apes.

Wildlife specialists have communicated worry about coronavirus infecting gorillas, as the species share 98.4 percent of their DNA with humans and are characteristically social creatures.

Positive test outcomes were confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories in three gorillas. Excrement from each of the eight in the troop is being taken for testing.

Zoo authorities are talking to specialists to track if the creatures show more serious symptoms. The gorillas will be kept together since isolating them could be destructive to the gorillas that live in very close gatherings.

The safari park on Monday added more wellbeing measures for its staff, including requiring face shields and eye goggles when working in close contact with the creatures.

The confirmation that gorillas are vulnerable to the coronavirus adds to data about how the pandemic may influence these species in their local living spaces, where they come into contact with humans, the recreation center authorities said.

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