Otters at Georgia Aquarium in the USA’s Atlanta city have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement by the aquarium on Facebook. The carnivorous mammals are doing well and are expected to recover completely, an NBC news report said.
“They began exhibiting mild respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, runny noses and mild lethargy, and some began coughing,” the aquarium stated.
Our Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They showed mild symptoms: sneezing, runny noses, lethargy, & coughing. We’re happy to report they’re doing well & expected to recover. They’re off exhibit & being cared for. pic.twitter.com/Ig34EoZSvK
— Georgia Aquarium (@GeorgiaAquarium) April 18, 2021
As per the aquarium’s statement, the Asian small-clawed otters may have been infected by an asymptomatic staff member despite all recommended health and safety protocol being followed. This kind of transmission is rare.
The otters are off exhibit until they recover fully and will not have any kind of direct contact with those who visit the aquarium.
It is not known how many otters tested positive for the virus. Animals are not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccines in the United States.