Snow Leopard : Contracted Covid-19 from an asymptomatic employee
Louisville, Ky. – NeeCee, a five-year-old female snow leopard at the Louisville Zoo, has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 in humans, the zoo announced in a released issued on Friday.
The Zoo officials said they are waiting for results for the two male snow leopards, Kimti and Meru.
All three snow cats have mild respiratory symptoms, including an occasional dry cough or wheeze, that stated about two weeks ago. The Zoo said it continues to monitor their health closely and expects all three cats to recover.
No other animals are showing symptom at this time.
“Fortunately, based on clinical cases in large cats at other zoos in the country to this point, SARS-CoV-2 infections does not appear to be life threatening” senior staff veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi said ” we will be closely monitoring the snow leopards for ongoing symptoms and resampling them to identify when they have cleared the infection”
According to the Louisville Zoo, transmission of the virus between animals and humans is low. Staff members who care for the snow leopards have started additional precautions that include enhance PPE.
The zoo initiated safety precautions at the beginning of the pandemic that remain in place.
NeeCee is the first known case of the virus in a snow leopard, according to the Zoo authority.
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