“Tiger in U.S. zoo tests positive for coronavirus, becomes first animal to get COVID-19,” an April 2020 headline proclaimed.
The type and frequency of animals coming down with COVID is trying to tell us something about the future of the pandemic.
Animals,like a pet, most likely launched the COVID-19 pandemic (although a controversial “lab leak” hypothesis has not quite been completely debunked).
The pathogen now circulates in both populations, crossing over and spilling back, even if such occurrences are relatively infrequent. And like humans, animals continue to shape the pandemic, as new variants and subvariants mutate.
Similar to COVID, the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic of 2009 is thought to have been caused by North American and European pigs intermingling, mixing strains of the flu. West Nile Virus, which originated in arthropods and is transmitted by mosquitoes, established itself in New York City in 1999 and has since become endemic in the U.S. And monkeypox, a smallpox-related virus once endemic to Africa but now sweeping the globe, was discovered in monkeys, though it’s thought to have originated in rodents.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these animals are potential carriers of Covid varients:
Pets like cats, dogs, ferrets, and hamsters.
Zoo animals like lions, tigers, snow leopards, otters, hyenas, hippos, and manatees.
Mink who live on farms.
Wildlife, including scores of white-tailed and mule deer, a black-tailed marmoset, and a giant anteater.
Edited by Rogerdodger, 06 August 2022 - 12:53 PM.