Q: Which animals can become infected?
A: Humans are not the only animal species able to contract the novel coronavirus.
The first confirmed case of the virus in another animal in the U.S. was a tiger in the Bronx Zoo on April 4, according to the Department of Agriculture. Since then, other animals have tested positive, but some are more likely to do so than others.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, ferrets, cats and some hamsters can test positive and spread the novel coronavirus in a laboratory setting, while pigs, chickens and ducks can not.
Other animals that have tested positive in the U.S. include lions, minks and dogs.
Currently, routine testing for animals is not recommended, according to the FDA. The risk of the novel coronavirus’ spread via animals is low, and no evidence supports the theory that it can spread to humans from animals’ fur, hair or skin.
Additionally, recent research from the University of California, Davis compared the genes of 410 different species. This comparison suggested those species with genes more similar to humans’ are generally more likely to become infected with the novel coronavirus.
Some of the most likely to get the novel coronavirus are chimpanzees, bonobos, Sumatran Orangutans, gibbons and western lowland gorillas.
The novel coronavirus originated from another coronavirus found in bats. But the research from the University of California, Davis found bats are unlikely to become infected with the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.