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Should humans be concerned about COVID-19 in animals?

More than two dozen species have tested positive for the virus

  • Scott LaMar

 Scott LaMar photo

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Airdate: Thursday, March 17, 2022

Twenty-nine different species of animals have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in the past two years. Among the animals that have contracted the virus are dogs, cats, ferrets, minks, otters, whitetail deer and hippos.

For the most part, these animals haven’t suffered serious illnesses due to the virus.

Even though the virus is thought to have originated in a horseshoe bat, COVID isn’t normally spread from animals to humans. However, the virus can mutate in animals and that is reason for concern.

With us on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss animals and COVID are Dr. Eman Anis (microbiologist), Assistant Professor of Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) and Section Head of the Microbiology Lab at the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS) at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center campus in Chester County and Dr. Erick Gagne (ecologist), Assistant Professor of Wildlife Disease Ecology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) and Wildlife Disease Ecologist at the Wildlife Futures Program, a research and diagnostics partnership between Penn Vet and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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