Published: 10th June 2021
What the FAQ: What are the symptoms of COVID-19 among animals?
All you need to know about COVID-19 in animals, how they get affected and what you should do if your pet tests positive
Earlier this week, Chennai's Arignar Anna Zoological park or Vandalur Zoo reported India's first animal death due to COVID-19. Nine-year-old Neela, an Asiatic lioness was asymptomatic till the day before her death. Eight other lions in the zoo also tested positive. We take a look at how animals across the world have been affected.
Are there other instances of animals getting infected?
There are several reports of animals catching the virus across the world. A few pet cats and dogs have been infected, mostly after close contact with infected humans. There have also been instances of wild animals in zoos testing positive. However, these are situations where there was limited contact between the caregiver and the animals.
What could be inferred from these cases?
These cases indicate the high possibility of disease transmission from affected humans to captive animals. At the same time, researchers say that the rate of transmission from animals to humans is comparatively lower.
Which animals are more vulnerable?
According to scientists, cats, dogs and ferrets are the most susceptible. Among the feline species, zoo-bred lions are more susceptible as they are genetically weaker. However, there is more research to be done on how other animals may be affected.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in animals?
The symptoms are similar to those in human beings and may include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sneezing, eye discharge and vomiting.
What should you do if your pet tests positive?
Just as you would treat an infected person, isolate your pet and avoid contact with the pet as much as possible. Keep a separate litter box or bathroom area from other pets.