All Felines, Including House Cats, Can Contract Coronavirus From Humans

Published: Monday, April 6, 2020 - 5:41pm

An employee at the Bronx Zoo has reportedly passed the coronavirus onto a tiger. The report Sunday of the transmission is the first case of its kind in the nation, according to the USDA.

But Phoenix Zoo veterinarian Dr. Gary West said he’s not surprised by the news.

“Some of the evidence shows they have a protein on their cells in the lung similar to humans, which may make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus hacking the cell or invading the cell,” he said.

West added all felines can contract coronavirus from humans, including house cats, but their symptoms are usually mild.

The Bronx Zoo employee is believed to have been asymptomatic, according to zoo officials.

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