Not just the largest human-related vaccination operation on the planet’s scale. Fight against COVID-19 Also at the center of a parallel initiative, one that is less well-known but no less important: has begun operating zoos around the world. Their guest An anti-investigation-Coronavirus As protection from what they fear, as it does for humans, is an equally deadly epidemic for some mammals. From giraffes to snow leopards, from gorillas to sea lions, hippos and hamsters, several species are infected. And it is this that directs the attention of veterinarians and scientists. News Guardian reports.
The British press has listed a number of cases, ranging from recent ones. Last week Two hippos A. Antwerp ZooIn Belgium, people have finally been infected with covid. Fortunately, Imani and Hermione – the names of these two specimens – had no symptoms other than runny nose. It didn’t go so well for the other animals. By November Three leopards A children’s zoo has died of frostbite complications Nebraska. Infections of gorillas, lions, tigers, hyenas and cougar have been reported in other zoos.
Jump of species
“We have always acknowledged that coronaviruses have this amazing ability Avoid species. So it was always predicted that there would be a variety of pets, livestock and potential wildlife that they could Get infected“He explained to the guardian Margaret Hosey, University of Glasgow Center for Virus Research Professor of Comparative Virology. Although the origin of SARS-Cavi-2 to an animal is almost unanimous, in this particular case one Bat, Most of the scientific research has focused on the consequences for humans. Now that’s me Vaccine They have begun to operate outside of the noisy but limited (and in any case harmful) position of No Wax, and now – it has been said – the focus has shifted to animals.
The reason is twofold: the protection of other living species but above all the need to prevent the transmission of the virus in animals, which may lead to its emergence. New variant Which can attack people in more destructive ways. “You can focus on eradicating the virus in humans, but you can already get the virus Transform silently Within an animal species and became increasingly aggressive “, Hussey explained himself.
The first report of an animal infection – still reported Guardian – Came in February 2020 when a Dogs in Hong Kong Tested positive, possibly after being infected with covid from its infected owner. Since then there have been numerous reports with cats and dogs Covid. Other animals usually seem less sensitive: for example, no one has yet identified Good Positive for Covid, but – to mention a few – Ferret and hamster Goldfish can catch Covid-19 and die from the Roborovsky dwarf hamster. Further research suggests that infections from cats and dogs are relatively common.
The British media reported this information Dutch scientists It was found that in 20% of households they visited, where pet owners tested positive for covid, developed dogs and cats. Antibodies to the virus, Clear signs of infection. Infected animals typically develop the condition with mild symptoms, usually a cold, cough, sneezing, or conjunctivitis, and almost all recover without consequences. But some, on the contrary, can manifest the disease in a severe form. “The first cat we identified as infected by its owner was a young kitten who died of pneumonia,” Hussey said. “We have not extensively tested other possible pathogens, so we cannot say for sure, but the pathology was similar to that seen in viral pneumonia seen in patients. COVID-19“
Farm counter measures
Once the situation is observed, the question is inevitable: these samples are infected Infectious in turn, For humans and other animals? On the dog – the Guardian explains – the evidence suggests that Risk of infection Forward low. On cats, experimental studies suggest that they may infect other cats, even if the phenomenon is uncertain in the real world, because we are working with a species with relatively isolated specimens. If they make a deal COVID-19, Their owner will probably be the source. However, this is not always the case: mink, for example, are forced to live close to farms and have a higher risk of infection.
On farms, stems can be transmitted by infection Quarantine And culls. Last March, the Russian State Veterinary Service announced that it had approved one Vaccine against Covid-19 It is called Carnivac-Cove for use on fur farms or dogs and cats, and it follows the necessary clinical research conducted on Arctic foxes, cats, dogs and mink. For its part, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a vaccine for experimental use, developed by the American animal health company Joetis. Case by case. After a group of gorilla coyotes fell ill at the zoo, two great apes were vaccinated with the drug Joetis at the San Diego Zoo.
The biggest risk
“We’re really concerned about what happens between humans and animals, and between animals, in an environment where the human population could be affected,” he told the Guardian. Rebecca FisherAssistant Professor of Epidemiology University of Texas A&M. “The important thing is not to abuse them too much when you are sick or healthy. We must protect them, as we do with children,” he added.
“The current epidemic is being maintained by human-to-human transmission, but we need to maintain control over the animals,” he said. Alan RadfordProfessor of Veterinary Health Informatics at the University Liverpool. But for now, the most likely source of the new form is the continued transmission of the virus in humans. With the high rate of infection progressing – the newspaper article concludes – we are human More risk They are for us, not for the animals. Even if, according to official sources, it actually started with a bat.