A beautiful Malayan tiger has been the latest victim of the novel coronavirus plaguing the world. As most of the the United States has been under a shelter-in-place order since mid-March 2020, we are seeing the devastating effects that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on human populations across the world.
It’s well known that coronaviruses are zoonotic – meaning they can spread between animals and humans. And just recently, we’ve seen several cases of COVID-19 appearing in cats – both big cats and small cats. The latest announcement came from the Bronx Zoo that a Malayan tiger named Nadia, has contracted COVID-19. And Nadia is not the only big cat to have the disease. The zoo announced that six other big cats have also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A handful of domestic animals have also been reported as contracting the virus including a Pomeranian and German Shepard from Hong Kong and most recently a domestic cat that contracted the virus from its owner in Belgium. The cat has since recovered. As of April 2020, the writing of this article, scientists do not believe that the disease is being transmitted from pets to humans.
According to Live Science:
There have been no reports of pets passing the virus to their human owners, and Van Gucht stressed that even human-to-pet transmission is not a significant path of viral spread.