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Now tracking the new emerging South Africa Omicron Variant

More New Variants Could Come From Animals.

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John L. View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 18 2022 at 2:35am

     Here in Sleepy Hollow New York I got my vaccine booster just in time to have two weeks of building immunity before the peak of our Omicron came.  Our cases now just north of New York City are now dropping quickly though much of the country is yet to peak.  But we have not escaped the risk of new variants from other species...

Covid-19 Infected Lions Prompt Variant Warning in South Africa

  • Lions, pumas were infected by handlers at a Pretoria zoo

  • Animals got sicker than largely asymptomatic zoo staff



A 2020 study of feces from two pumas that had had diarrhea, nasal discharge and anorexia showed the animals had Covid-19 and made a full recovery after 23 days, the University of Pretoria said in a statement on Tuesday. A year later, in the midst of South Africa’s delta-variant-driven third wave, three lions, one of which had pneumonia, tested positive for the coronavirus.


The studies add to evidence that while the dominant theory is that the coronavirus spread from animals to humans, the reverse can also happen. Data suggests that the disease was circulating among staff at the time of the lions’ illness and the disease was likely transferred from them to the big cats. The disease could then mutate in the animals and reinfect humans, the researchers said.

Measures such as mask-wearing and infection control when dealing with captive animals, as well as barriers so that visitors to zoos can’t get too close to them, are advisable, the researchers said in the statement. 


“This is to protect endangered species from getting sick and dying,” Marietjie Venter and Katja Koeppel, two professors at the university, said in the statement. “These measures are also important because of the risk of new variants emerging if the virus establishes itself in other animal reservoirs; these variants could be transmitted back to humans.”

Since the pandemic began, minks infected with the coronavirus in Denmark have been culled and Hong Kong said on Tuesday that 2,000 small animals including hamsters would be culled after some tested positive for the disease.

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John L.
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KiwiMum View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2022 at 11:32am

Interesting. Well when you think about, all the cases of nasty and rare bird flus come out of China where some rural people live cheek by jowl with poultry, so it passes from the bird to the person. I doubt anyone lives cheek by jowl with a lion but think of those millions of household cats who mingle at night and travel a surprising distance, and then pop through the cat flap and get cuddled and kissed by their owners. I have 2 cats who do just that. Heaven knows where they go at night but they mingle and fight with other cats because they are scratched and sometimes badly injured. And we kiss and cuddle them all day long. If they were to bring home a nasty variant, we'd certainly get it from them. 

I don't think dogs are such a risk as no one lets their dog roam indiscriminately. Although I guess if you go to the dog park and your dog mingles there there's every chance......

After all, Russia has discovered that an anal swab for Covid is much more accurate that a nasal one, and dogs spend a lot of time sniffing other dogs bottoms, so perhaps there's more chance of a spread if the virus is more concentrated there. Who knows? As you can tell, I'm not a vet.  

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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