COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on humanity for five months now, but new research from the World Health Organization confirms that humans aren’t the only animals who can catch the disease.
It’s been known since at least early March that dogs can become infected with COVID-19. Back then, a Pomeranian was known to have contracted a “low-level” infection of the disease after its owner became sick. And late last month, two cats in New York had also been reported to be infected with the disease.
But now a scientist at the World Health Organization says we need to add another pet to the list: ferrets, reports Bloomberg. Unfortunately, cats, dogs, and now ferrets are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the list of animals susceptible to COVID-19.
While they represent the pets that can come down with the virus, there is also a growing number of wild animals that have caught the disease. The first was a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, and that infection was quickly followed by three more tigers and three lions that also came down with the disease. Separately, a mink is also known to be infected with the disease.
The WHO report adds that, as of now, it appears that cats and ferrets are more susceptible to the disease than dogs are, while the CDC says that at this time there is still no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the disease.
The CDC says that if you do have COVID-19, you should isolate yourself not only from the people with whom you share a home but from any pets as well. And whether or not you have COVID-19, it’s always a good idea to keep yourself isolated from lions and tigers.