• By The Financial District

2 GORILLAS IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA ZOO INFECTED WITH COVID

The surge in COVID-19 cases in California has just gotten even worse, after at least two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo became infected with the virus, the zoo and Gov. Gavin Newsom said, Cheri Mossburg and Leah Ashmelash reported for CNN.

Three animals are currently showing symptoms of the virus, and it is suspected that they were infected by an asymptomatic staff member.


This is the first known instance of coronavirus in great apes, the zoo said, though previous research has shown that some non-human primates are susceptible. The gorillas live as a family, so it is assumed that all members have been exposed, zoo officials say.


It started last Wednesday, when two zoo gorillas began coughing. A preliminary test within the group showed presence of the virus on Friday, and the US Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the positive results Monday.


It is unknown whether the gorillas will have any serious reaction, the zoo said, but they are being closely monitored.


The gorillas were most likely infected by an asymptomatic staff member, the zoo said.


"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well," said Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


"The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking.


We are hopeful for a full recovery." San Diego Zoo has been closed to the public since early December.



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