After humans, Delta variant of COVID-19 hits gorillas in US zoo

Just as the world is beginning to recover from COVID-19 and resume normal lives, a recent COVID-19 outbreak has been discovered in numerous gorillas at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia in the United States.

The western lowland gorillas were tested after their staff noticed them coughing and showing other symptoms, according to the report. Initial tests showed they had the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The Delta variant has been identified.

The zoo said in a statement Friday that confirming tests from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, were still forthcoming.

The Atlanta Zoo reports that 13 of its gorillas have been infected with Coronavirus, including Ozzie, the world’s oldest male gorilla in captivity, who is 60 years old. Because of the distance between them and the primates’ enclosure, the zoo claims that visitors are not at risk of getting infected.

“There is currently no data to suggest that zoo animals can transmit the virus to humans,” the zoo claims. Domestic cats and dogs have also been known to contract COVID-19.

“The teams are very closely monitoring the affected gorillas and are hopeful they will make a complete recovery. They are receiving the best possible care,” Sam Rivera, senior director of animal health at Zoo Atlanta, stated.

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat gorillas that are at risk of having problems. Officials from the Zoo say, “We’re taking it on a day by day.” The Zoetis COVID vaccination, which was created for animals, has been approved for use at Zoo Atlanta. Other animals like Sumatran tigers, African lions, clouded leopards and orangutans will also be vaccinated.

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