Lions and tigers at National Zoo all caught COVID-19: Reports

Last month, the lion and tiger population began exhibiting coughing and sneezing, as well as other symptoms similar to those in humans.
Image
Illustration of coronaviruses
Illustration of coronaviruses
(KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty)

Every lion and tiger at the Smithsonian National Zoo has contracted COVID-19, according to reports.

One tiger that recently arrived at the zoo was asymptomatic, and one lion apparently suffered life-threatening symptoms, but later recovered, news outlets noted.

Last month, the lion and tiger population began exhibiting coughing and sneezing, as well as other symptoms similar to those in humans.

By Oct. 1, some of the animals tested negative for the virus on a follow-up check.

The zoo has been administering the specially made vaccine Zoetis—a veterinarian branch of Pfizer—to certain animals. 

Virus transmission from one mammal to another—in this case, humans to tigers and lions—is fairly commonplace, officials said. So far, only the large cat population has contracted the virus.