TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

From deer and dogs to rats and mink, COVID-19 has spread to the animal world

As SARS-CoV-2 spreads through some animal populations, animals may create a feedback loop as they re-infect humans

For six months out of the year, Dr. Jenessa Gjeltema has a very diverse and unusual roster of patients. The assistant professor of zoological medicine at University of California, Davis provides clinical work for hundreds and hundreds of animals at the Sacramento Zoo, from lions and giraffes to poison dart frogs and two-toed sloths. It doesn't take long to intuit that she cares very deeply for each animal, which is why she was concerned when a meerkat became very sick during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The meerkat presented with bloody nasal discharge coming out of its face and was in respiratory distress," Gjeltema recalled. "It was just at the start of the pandemic, when we were getting significant amounts of community spread in our local area, and I was very concerned because we didn't know as much as we do now about how the virus behaves in humans, much less all of the animals that were in our collection."

Continued here


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