Two Covid-positive hippos in a Belgian zoo: “First infection in this species”

Two Covid-positive hippos in a Belgian zoo: “First infection in this species”
Two Covid-positive hippos in a Belgian zoo: “First infection in this species”

Due hippos of the zoo from Antwerp, in the north of Belgium, suffering from colds, were found positive at Covid 19: it was announced on wildlife park which hosts them, specifying that it is the first time that this species has contracted the virus. These animals always have wet noses but “this time they expelled some mucus that we tested as a precaution,” said the zoo veterinarian. Francis Vercammen, quoted in a note. “I subjected the samples to the Covid-19 test, which gave this surprising result. As far as I know, this is the first contamination identified in this species ”. In the world – he specified -, this virus has been reported, among animals, mainly among the great apes and in felines.

The two hippos, two females, Hermione, aged 41, and her daughter Faith, of 14, show no symptoms other than the cold, and they don’t seem to feel pain. As a precaution, the Antwerp Zoo has decided to close the fence hippos to visitors. The people who deal with it have been tested and are negative. They now have to wear additional protective gear and undergo a daily quick test.

The origin of the contamination it is not known. “None of the keepers recently contracted the disease, they didn’t show any symptoms,” the zoo said. The Belgium, strongly affected by a new wave of infections, yesterday tightened its restrictions, announcing, in particular, the closure of kindergartens e primary schools for the Christmas holidays from December 18th, one week in advance. The country of 11 million inhabitants has recorded on average about 17,800 contaminations and 44 deaths a day in the last week.

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Covidpositive hippos Belgian zoo infection species

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