Thirteen gorillas at Atlanta zoo test positive for COVID-19

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Thirteen western lowland gorillas at Zoo Atlanta are receiving treatment for COVID-19, after initial tests came back positive. Atlanta-Journal Constitution informed of.

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why it matters: Zoo Atlanta confirmed in a statement on Friday that “a number” of its 20 gorillas had tested positive, and the zoo believes they were infected by a fully vaccinated team member.

  • The team member was wearing PPE and had no symptoms that day, the statement said.

state of play: The gorilla was tested for the virus after exhibiting classic symptoms including cough, runny nose and slight changes in appetite, the statement said.

  • Oral and fecal samples sent to the University of Georgia’s Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory came back with 13 potentially positive results.
  • The zoo is now awaiting confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, which also received the samples.
  • The gorillas who are at increased risk of developing complications are being treated with monoclonal antibodies, the statement said.
  • The zoo said all 20 gorillas, regardless of symptoms, would be tested regularly.

once they are well, Gorillas – as well as the zoo’s Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, African lions, and clouded leopards – will receive the Zoetis coronavirus vaccine developed for the animals.

What are they saying: Sam Rivera, senior director of animal health at the zoo, said in the statement: “The teams are monitoring the affected gorillas very closely and hope they make a full recovery.”

  • “They are receiving the best possible care, and we stand ready to provide additional supportive care,” Rivera said.
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big picture: Other zoos across the country have also started vaccinating some of their charges.

  • on 30 August, Detroit Zoo announced that it has started vaccination with its gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and lions.
  • NS Oakland Zoo Started vaccinating my animals in July.
  • In February, the great apes at the San Diego Zoo became the first animals in the country to be vaccinated against the virus. National Geographic.
  • According to National Geographic, Zoetis plans to send 11,000 doses of the animal vaccine for free to more than 80 institutions across the country.


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