There’s a headline we never thought we would write.
A partially vaccinated 11-year-old tiger at the Brookfield Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19. The zoo received confirmation of Amur tiger Malena’s positive test this week after she started showing mild respiratory symptoms, including coughing and sneezing, late last week. Those symptoms are consistent with what other zoos have seen in big cats infected with COVID-19, according to a statement from the Chicago Zoological Society.
It is still risky to have mink breeding in Denmark in 2020. This is the assessment from Denmark’s SSI, the Statens Serum Institut.
In an email response to the parliamentary parties, which TV 2 has seen, it appears that SSI still stands by the previous risk assessment , which they broadcast on 14 June this year.
It stated that “keeping mink in Denmark after 2021 may entail a health risk for people of unknown size”, and it is thus this health risk which, SSI believes, is still present in mink breeding.
The email states that “the conclusions of the health professional assessment of the risk to human health in the event of a resumption of mink keeping after 2021 of 14 June 2021 remain valid.”
TV2nord report (In Danish)
* * Thankfully someone in Europe still has their eye on the ball **
A Florida ferret has tested positive for COVID-19, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday. The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed in a prepared statement that samples were taken after the animal showed clinical signs of COVID-19, including coughing and sneezing.
Florida’s Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory performed the ferret’s test, and authorities suspect that a human infected the animal, WPLG reported. Lab officials also confirmed that the Florida ferret is the first in the country to test positive for the virus.
There were 568 COVID-19 cases and 2316 controls. Among the 568 cases, 138 individuals had moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity whereas 430 individuals had very mild to mild COVID-19 severity.
After adjusting for important confounders, participants who reported following ‘plant-based diets’ and ‘plant-based diets or pescatarian diets’ had 73% and 59% lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity, respectively, compared with participants who did not follow these diets.
Compared with participants who reported following ‘plant-based diets’, those who reported following ‘low carbohydrate, high protein diets’ had greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. No association was observed between self-reported diets and COVID-19 infection or duration.
Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers at the National Zoo in Washington have tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, the Smithsonian Institution said Friday.
Animal caretakers observed appetites, coughing, sneezing and lethargy in six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers, and final results were expected in coming days to confirm the presumptive positive coronavirus test results, said the Smithsonian, which operates the zoo.
“All lions and tigers are being treated with anti-inflammatories and anti-nausea medication to address discomfort and decreased appetite,” the zoo said on its website, adding that they were also being treated with antibiotics for possible secondary bacterial pneumonia.
“We found that the RBDs of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues”
Here we show that such viruses indeed circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in North Laos, within the Indochinese peninsula. We found that the RBDs of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues, bind as efficiently to the hACE2 protein as the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan strain isolated in early human cases, and mediate hACE2-dependent entry into human cells, which is inhibited by antibodies neutralizing SARS-CoV-2.
None of these bat viruses harbors a furin cleavage site in the spike. Our findings therefore indicate that bat-borne SARS-CoV-2-like viruses potentially infectious for humans circulate in Rhinolophus spp. in the Indochinese peninsula.
Indeed, Laos/Rm-Tueng-BANAL-52/2020 (site 1 close to the Mekong) is now the closest to SARS-CoV-2, not far from 97% identity. pic.twitter.com/a0yLHhqXf5
— babar (@babarlelephant) September 17, 2021
Mongolia’s National Center for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD) said that at least seven beavers in the country have been found infected with Covid-19.
NCZD director Nyamdorj Sogbadrakh told local media that the staff at the Ulaanbaatar Breeding Center in the capital Ulaanbaatar’s environment department took the Covid test in August. After that, the delta variant was detected in seven beavers.
This is the first time that Covid-19 has been detected in animals in Mongolia, Xinhua news agency quoted Sogbdrakh as saying.
** Update 15th September 2021 ** Several news outlets are saying the infected animals are beavers and not otters. The Chinese source below also says two of the beavers have died of Covid.
“This is the first confirmed cases of animal deaths in the country due to COVID-19. The dead beavers were from the Beaver Breeding Center at the Environmental Department of the capital Ulan Bator, and another seven beavers of the center have tested positive for the virus, according to the country’s National Center for Zoonotic Diseases (NCZD).
The zoo says it is treating the gorillas at risk of developing complications from SARS-CoV-2 with monoclonal antibodies. The zoo is also testing all 20 of its gorillas, who live in four troops.
Zoo officials say they believe an asymptomatic employee who cares for the gorillas passed on the virus. The employee had been fully vaccinated and was wearing protective equipment such as a mask and gloves.
** UPDATE 15th September 2021 **
The number of gorillas infected has risen to 18 out of the twenty gorillas at the park
A case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mink has been discovered in connection with the ongoing mandatory disease surveillance that was initiated this summer as a result of an EU decision and which covers all mink farms in the country.
Viral genetic material was detected by PCR in one of six samples sent from the affected farm. Complete genome sequencing shows that the detected virus is of a type not previously seen in Sweden, but which has been reported from several countries within and outside the EU since April 2020. It is thus a more original SARS-CoV-2 type and not any of the later virus variants that cause particular concern due to changed virus properties, so-called variants of concern .
It is currently unclear how the virus got into the herd and where it comes from. All mink farms in the country are subject to special infection control restrictions to reduce the risk of introduction and further spread of infection following a decision from the Swedish Board of Agriculture taken in connection with the extensive outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 that affected Swedish mink farms in autumn 2020, says state epizootologist Karl Ståhl at SVA.
Swedish Veterinary Institute report (in Swedish)
The Spanish Ministry of Rural has notified this Friday to the Affairs Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) the existence of a coronavirus outbreak in an American mink farm located in the Coruña municipality of Abegondo .
In this farm, which has 8,760 minks , three positive samples have been detected. With this, there are already eleven outbreaks of covid-19 detected so far in American mink farms in Galicia, where there are 25 farms of this type and a total census of 71,479 animals.
The farm was immobilized “immediately” and the surveillance and control by the veterinary services will continue.
Nuevo foco de #COVID19 en una granja de #visones en Abegondo. Ya son 13 brotes registrados en España. ¿Cuántos más hacen falta para cerrar estás peligrosas instalaciones? @mapagob @mitecogob @sanidadgob @Xunta https://t.co/LImZcw88Fr
— Laura Moreno Ruiz (@LMorenoWWF) August 13, 2021
By August 31, 2021, any person holding captive mink in Oregon must vaccinate all captive mink on their premises against the SARS-CoV-2 virus using an approved vaccine according to all vaccine manufacturer instructions. Any captive mink born or imported after August 31, 2021 must be vaccinated within 120 days of the birth of any captive mink, or within 60 days of the date that any captive mink are imported into Oregon.
SURVEILLANCE TESTING FOR SARS-COV-2 IN MINK
Any person holding captive mink in Oregon must participate in surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2 according to guidelines established by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
** We know that vaccines don’t prevent transmission of, or infection by, the Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2. It’s unlikely that vaccinating mink will prevent mutations of the virus being created either. Not destroying these animals is a huge and unnecessary risk to humanity. Ed.**
San Diego Safari Park has learned that five of its six Sumatran tigers have Covid-19 after testing stool samples from the animals. The news comes days after the zoo learned that both of its snow leopards, Ramil and Naphisa, had Covid-19. Both leopards had mild coughs but have nearly made a full recovery, according to Lisa Peterson, executive director of the Safari Park.
Researchers find signs of Covid-19 mutations in NYC sewage, pointing to possible dog and rat infections. After months of testing and re-testing, they found four combinations of COVID mutations that, when compared to a global database of more than 2.5 million sequenced variants, had not been seen before. The four variants are at least somewhat antibody-resistant, which could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, the researchers found.
As with other animals, COVID-19 could be infecting dogs and rats, leading to new mutations and an outbreak in New York City’s sewers. While animal-to-human transmission of the virus is exceedingly rare, it has been seen in the U.S. in minks
These lineages contain mutations rarely observed in clinical samples, including Q493K, Q498Y, H519N and T572N. Many of these mutations were found to expand the tropism of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses by allowing infection of cells expressing the human, mouse, or rat ACE2 receptor.
Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33% of the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through 2021. None of the deer populations surveyed showed signs of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2. Results of the study indicate that certain white-tailed deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
It is important to note that this surveillance was designed to determine exposure of deer to SARS-CoV-2 in their natural environment. It was not designed to determine whether the deer were replicating and shedding SARS-CoV-2.
The Biorxiv preprint of the deer study does contain two interesting paragraphs that refer to Sars-CoV-2 positive tests in white tailed deer in 2019 and early 2020:
“Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 40% of the 2021 surveillance samples (Table 1). Antibodies were also detected in three samples from 2020 and one sample from 2019. No detections were observed in samples from 2011-2018. The results from the sVNT screening showed high concordance with those obtained by VNT (Table 1). Specifically, 24/24 of 2021 detections and 24/24 of 2021 negatives were concordant for sVNT compared to VNT.
Most of the positive samples from 2021 had percent inhibition values between 80-100% while the 2019-2020 positive samples had relatively low percent inhibition values (30.03-43.72, Figure 1). Percent inhibition scores ≥30 are considered positive for this assay. Low percent inhibition could represent potential waxing/waning immunity, non-specific antibody binding, or cross-reactivity from exposure to unknown endemic coronaviruses. The three positive samples from 2020 were collected in January, very early in the pandemic. In fact, the majority of the 2020 samples that were available for testing were from January-March, with only 21 samples collected later in the year, 20 of which were collected in October from a single location. Consequently, we have limited information on prevalence over time in 2020.