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New York’s Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for coronavirus after developing a cough

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A tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the institution said Sunday, and is believed to have contracted the virus from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time.

The four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed dry coughs and are expected to fully recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society that runs the city’s zoos said in a statement.

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“We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus,” the statement sent to AFP said.

“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the statement continued.

“It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.”

All four of the zoos and the aquarium in New York — whose virus death toll has topped 4,000 — have been closed since March 16.

The zoo emphasized that there is “no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19 to people other than the initial event in the Wuhan market, and no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats.”

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Chinese disease control officials had identified wild animals sold in a Wuhan market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has infected well over one million people worldwide.

According to the US Department of Agriculture website there had “not been reports of pets or other animals” in the United States falling ill with coronavirus prior to news of the tiger Nadia.

“It is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus,” the department’s website says.

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In late March a pet cat was discovered infected with the novel coronavirus in Belgium, following similar cases in Hong Kong where two dogs tested positive for COVID-19.

All of those animals are believed to have contracted the virus from the people they live with.

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The Bronx zoo said preventative measures were in place for caretakers as well as all cats in the city’s zoos.


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US health officials are scrambling to correct Trump’s disinformation since he stopped task force briefings: report

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In recent weeks, the coronavirus task force briefings have stopped altogether, and a key consequence of this is that public health officials no longer have a single, highly visible platform with which to correct the president's misinformation about the pandemic in real time.

But according to Politico, they haven't given up. They've just taken their efforts to contradict the president to alternate platforms.

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Senior health adviser accused the CDC of ‘undermining’ Trump by publishing warnings about COVID-19 in pregnant women

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Surely everyone could agree that the priority during a global pandemic should be to save lives. That hasn't been the case.

According to the Washington Post, an adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services accused the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of trying to “undermining the president” by releasing factual information about the risks of getting the virus while pregnant.

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Alabama Republican: ‘I want to see more people’ get coronavirus

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On Thursday, Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh suggested that he wanted more people to get coronavirus — because he thinks America would develop "herd immunity" and reduce the spread enough to protect more vulnerable populations.

"I'm not as concerned so much as the number of cases. In fact, quite honestly, I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity the more people have it and get through it," said Marsh. "I don't want any deaths, as few as possible, say, I get it, but those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially more serious pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to, you know, do all we can to protect them. But I'm not concerned, I want to make sure that everybody can receive care."

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