Should we be concerned about animals testing positive for COVID-19?



YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN) – Several animals have made headlines during the pandemic with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The most recent was a lion at the Akron Zoo. Health experts say the lion was likely infected by a zoo worker.

According to the CDC, the risk of getting COVID-19 from an animal is low, but scientists are still learning about the relationship. A human can spread the virus to an animal, especially when in close contact.

Recent experimental research shows that many mammals, including cats, dogs, bank voles, ferrets, fruit bats, hamsters, mink, pigs, rabbits, raccoon dogs, tree shrews and white-tailed deer can be infected with the virus.

Animals reported infected include:

  • Companion animals, including pet cats and dogs and one ferret.
  • Animals in zoos and sanctuaries, including several types of big cats, otters, and non-human primates.
  • Mink on mink farms.
  • Wild white-tailed deer in several U.S. states.

People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife, according to the CDC.

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19.

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