What role do animals play in the coronavirus pandemic?

Published on April 8, 2020 by

As the death toll of Covid-19 keeps rising, scientists are still uncertain about where this deadly virus came from in the first place.
It’s believed that it jumped from animals to humans. So far pangolins and bats that were sold at the wet market in Wuhan in China are the most likely candidates. But the virus doesn’t stay with humans. There are signs that it’s also spreading to other animals.
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for COVID-19, after developing a dry cough. A couple of lions also show signs of the infection.
And there are reports in Hong Kong that dogs have tested positive, without having any of the usual symptoms. Scientists say that cats are very susceptible to the virus. Many people around the world are now worried about what that means for them and their pets.
And farmers also want to know how dangerous the virus could be to their livestock. Pigs, chicken and ducks, at least, are not likely to get infected. But what about the rest?
Which species can get infected? Which is immune? And what’s this mean for our interaction with pets and farm animals?

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