Saturday 18 September 2021

Calls for zoo animals to be Covid vaccinated as 9 big cats at one zoo get the disease

NEWS AND VIEWS - WASHINGTON ZOO: The time has come to vaccinate zoo animals against Covid both in the interests of their health and welfare and of humans visiting these zoos and the employees. Nine big cats, lions and tigers, contracting the disease is the largest outbreak that I have heard about at a zoo.

Covid outbreak at Washington Zoo affecting 9 big cats
Covid outbreak at Washington Zoo affecting 9 big cats. Photos: Pixabay. These are not the cats in the story.

The zoo administration doesn't know how they got the disease. Their workers all wear masks apparently. In the past zoo animals have caught Covid from zoo workers. Who else? No one is near enough to them to transmit this zoonotic disease.

The cats are being treated with anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea meds and antibiotics (possible secondary bacterial infection in the lungs). The patients comprise: Six African lions, one Sumatran tiger, and two Amur tigers. Their symptoms are: decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing and lethargy.

It is believed that they are not a risk to customers. The USDA has approved the inoculation of zoo animals to Covid. The first jabs will be administered to certain zoo animals at the Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia when they become accessible in the following months. Other zoos have started to vaccinate their animals.

It is time as the problem appears to be getting worse. Russia has or is developing a Covid vaccine for animals. I wonder if this story will prompt the vaccination of domestic cats and dogs? It has been on the cards for a while. It is thought that animals might become a reservoir for the disease and maintain it when it has been substantially diminished among humans.

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