The Asian small-clawed otters at Georgia Aquarium have examined optimistic for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They started exhibiting delicate respiratory signs together with sneezing, runny noses, delicate lethargy, and coughing. Whereas the Asian small-clawed otters are geriatric, they’re already bettering and anticipated to make a full restoration. They’re off exhibit and being cared for behind-the-scenes by the Aquarium’s professional animal well being and animal care groups.
“Our Asian small-clawed otters are beneath very shut monitoring by veterinarians and animal care workforce members. They’ve displayed solely delicate signs and we count on all of them to make a full restoration,” stated Dr. Tonya Clauss, vp of animal and environmental well being at Georgia Aquarium. “We’re offering supportive care as wanted to allow them to eat, relaxation and get better.”
The choice to check the Asian small-clawed otters for COVID-19 was made primarily based on the scientific indicators in the whole group. Georgia Aquarium veterinarians consulted with the state veterinarians’ workplace and the division of well being.
Regardless of following all really useful well being and security protocols, it’s suspected the otters could have acquired the an infection from an asymptomatic employees member. Out of an abundance of warning, all employees who’ve been in touch with the otters have been examined. The chance of animal-to-human transmission is extremely uncommon. The Asian small-clawed otters on the Aquarium should not have direct contact with company and have all the time been behind acrylic limitations, separating them from company. The otters will proceed to be monitored and as soon as they’re not optimistic for COVID-19, it can then be decided when they may return on exhibit.
Data on the impression of COVID-19 in otter species is unknown. Based mostly on different zoological facility animals and the Aquarium’s small-clawed otters’ well being standing, it’s anticipated there won’t be any long-term well being points from COVID-19. Any extra updates on the otters can be offered because it turns into accessible.