The following article, Thirteen Animals at Atlanta Zoo Being Treated for COVID-19, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Over the course of the last several weeks, the proliferation of the delta variant of COVID-19 has had American medical experts on edge, as they continue to watch the case counts rise…and with no real change to the vaccination rate.
This has led to fears that a full resurgence of pandemic lockdowns could be coming soon, as hospitals begin to scramble for beds for patients, and businesses around the nation reinstitute their previous precautions.
In Atlanta, this resurgence of the pandemic has even created problems at the zoo, with thirteen animals now being treated for COVID-19.
A Georgia zoo is treating 13 western lowland gorillas who have tested positive for COVID-19 after displaying symptoms.
Zoo Atlanta employees tested the animals after they suffered from coughing, runny noses and loss of appetite – now known as possible symptoms for the virus. One of the gorillas is Ozzie, who is currently the world’s oldest living male gorilla at the age of 60 years old.
The zoo believes a vaccinated, asymptomatic employee who cares for the gorillas passed on the virus.
The entire Zoo Atlanta team is tuned in to the issue.
“The teams are very closely monitoring the affected gorillas and are hopeful they will make a complete recovery,” said Sam Rivera, DVM, Senior Director of Animal Health. “They are receiving the best possible care, and we are prepared to provide additional supportive care should it become necessary.”
“We are very concerned that these infections occurred, especially given that our safety protocols when working with great apes and other susceptible animal species are, and throughout the pandemic have been, extremely rigorous,” he added.
Ozzie, while still healthy, is showing symptoms of the illness, and zookeepers warn that they are not “out of the woods yet” in the case of the elderly ape.
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